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Patterson wins first gold since Mary Lou

Updated: August 20, 2004, 1:23 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- The 20-year wait is over. America has its new Mary Lou, and her name is Carly Patterson.

The 16-year-old dynamo from Baton Rouge beat Russian superstar Svetlana Khorkina to give the United States another Olympic all-around champion Thursday night, closing with a dazzling routine on the floor to win gymnastics' premier event.

"It just means a whole lot," Patterson said. "I worked my whole life to be an Olympic champion."

She wasn't the only one who'd been waiting ...

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