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HOW THE FALLEN WAS MIGHTY
E.M. SWIFT
August 30, 2004
Paul Hamm's dreams of Olympic gold didn't include a miraculous comeback--or a judging error that took some luster off his medal
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August 30, 2004

How The Fallen Was Mighty

Paul Hamm's dreams of Olympic gold didn't include a miraculous comeback--or a judging error that took some luster off his medal

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That's when the normally reserved Hamm burst into a shocked grin, his eyes flying wildly into the crowd, searching out his parents, Sandy and Cecily, his older sister, Betsy, and, of course, Morgan.

By Monday night Hamm had won one more medal, a silver in (what else?) the high bar to cap his historic week. And who knows? There may be more to come in Beijing in 2008. Though the Hamms are ineligible for college competition, they intend to transfer from Wisconsin- Milwaukee to Ohio State, where Avery coaches, in January (they'll be sophomores) and compete internationally for at least four more years. "I see no reason to stop gymnastics," Paul says, "until I get a degree and can get a decent job."

Maybe when he gets back to school, he should sign up for a course in ancient Greek poetry. He might run across a translation of the lines on the back of his medal, written by Pindar in 460 B.C. They are the opening lines of his eighth Olympian Ode: Mother of golden-crowned contests, Olympia, queen of truth!

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