Havelka is a junior high school teacher who took up rowing in 1981 to get in shape for AAU basketball. An all-conference center for Cal State-Long Beach in the late '70s, she once won a free throw contest by sinking 98 of 100 attempts. Seoul will be Havelka's first Olympics, but Tippett has been named to every U.S. Olympic team since women's rowing was added to the Games in '76. Oh, yes, she also breeds parrots for a living.
The most remarkable thing about Havelka and Tippett, though, is that they competed this year at all. "You might call us the adversity twins," says Havelka, who broke both her arms in January when she tripped over her mother's dog during a training run. Tippett fell mysteriously ill before the 1984 Olympics and finished an exhausted sixth in the double sculls. Later that year, her illness was diagnosed as the Epstein-Barr virus, a disease whose symptoms are similar to mononucleosis. She wasn't able to resume full training until last fall.
Saturday's race took a heavy toll on Tippett. She sat dazed in the medical tent, grateful that Havelka was doing the talking for her. Tippett had already done much more than had been expected of her. Not far away, Sudduth, who had merely done what was expected of him, was content, too.
"I can't exceed anyone's expectations," he had said the night before the finals. "But just because you can't do that, doesn't mean that what you've done isn't worthwhile."