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Up Where She Belongs
Kenny Moore
January 09, 1989
Louise Ritter's longstanding love for the high jump was finally requited in Seoul, where she won Olympic gold
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January 09, 1989

Up Where She Belongs

Louise Ritter's longstanding love for the high jump was finally requited in Seoul, where she won Olympic gold

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High-speed film from biomechanical studies shows that her clearance at 6'6ΒΌ" would have put her easily over a world record 6'11". "That's just the high jump," she says, forgiving it its fickle nature. "That was probably the best jump of my life. I know the bar wasn't up where I needed it, but golly, it makes you feel it's in there, waiting to come around again."

So when a guy in her health club whom she barely knew asked what was next, she replied, "World record."

"You'll never set it," he said blandly.

"Why not?"

"You'll be content with the gold."

"Content?" said Ritter, her eyes widening. "Satisfied? Listen, I may not get it, but it won't be because of that!"

"Knowing her as I do," said Olson later, "I'm surprised she didn't punch the guy."

Right.

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