But no, I'll never take that medal. By being adamant, I believe we can stop this kind of thing from ever happening again. Every Olympic official will have to think twice before he ever does something like that to anyone else. That's why I vote no.
Profession: High school history teacher and basketball coach
Home: El Paso
Single, one child
I guess I was paranoid. I thought people were blaming me because I didn't stop Belov from catching that pass and scoring. When I got back to school, at UTEP, I'd go in my room and close the door and not come out. I'd lie there and just think about it. My mind would play tricks and I'd start thinking, If someone else had been back there, would it have happened? But I never should've been put in that situation—those last three seconds never should've been played. Every now and then during a college game a fan would yell at me, "You blew it, you should have stopped it," and that would set me off again.
I spent most of the night after that last Olympic game alone. They picked me for the random drug test, and because of all the emotion, I guess I was drained—I couldn't go to the bathroom. I sat there in that nurse's office for 2½ hours, drinking umpteen glasses of water, thinking about what had just happened. It must have been 3 or 4 a.m. before I finally peed. Just think about it. We were jumping and we were hugging, feeling such exhilaration one moment, and the next we were in a state of shock. And then came the anger, and the anger just goes and goes and goes.
The first scrimmage I played in after the Olympics, I ripped up the cartilage in my knee. I had three operations and an arthroscope, but I never had the mobility again.
It crosses my mind sometimes that I'd like that medal now. The older you get, the anger begins to mellow, the stubbornness isn't quite as strong. It is an Olympic medal, after all, and not many people get one. I watch the Olympics and I imagine the feeling of getting that gold. But my first instinct is still the same. We earned the gold. I vote no.