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Jansen, 23, and Thometz, 25, don't contract the same dread malady that has afflicted Blair: quititis. Darn it, just when we get to know you, you talk about skating off into the sunset. The decisions of these three athletes are crucial to the U.S. Winter Olympic effort. Blair's two medals and the silver in the men's 1,500 meters by Flaim amounted to half the U.S. total at Calgary. And Blair and Jansen would be favorites to win four medals in Albertville. (Flaim, 21, can be expected to stay active through the Games.)
Jansen earned the world's sympathy and admiration at Calgary when he tried to compete in both the 500 and 1,000—he fell in both—soon after his sister, Jane, had died of leukemia. He had been expected to win two Olympic medals. Said Jansen at Heerenveen, "I don't feel I have anything to prove. I've accomplished enough of my personal goals. If I don't have an Olympic medal, I can live with it."
Not even the principals know whether they'll be skating in '92. Blair is sending out mixed signals. "Having fun," she says, "is what life is about. So if I find I'm not having fun skating, that will be it."
Gee, is there anything we can do to make it fun?