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Gail Force
Kenny Moore
May 10, 1993
Driven by a vision, Gail Devers made an amazing comeback from a crippling illness to win Olympic gold
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May 10, 1993

Gail Force

Driven by a vision, Gail Devers made an amazing comeback from a crippling illness to win Olympic gold

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"You gotta learn to delegate."

"But I want to be there every day."

"If you're going to run these things," says Kersee, snorting, "you gotta prepare. Look at ledgers, talk with accountants. If you don't start, something will always come up...."

"I have started." She doesn't seem to notice that her gesticulations have sent the table's popcorn flying. "Tin studying child-care ventures. I want activity books, cloth ones, that teach kids how to dress themselves. I've written songs, with meaning. I taught my goddaughter Shawnquintavia to spell her name with a song...."

Now Kersee flies into a frenzy. No, a vision. "That day-care center is real" he says. "It's out there, years from now, the way your gold in '92 was there in '84. The medal is here now, but it started way back there. The day-care center is already there. But if you're going to open the door of that center, it has to be claimed now. You have to see yourself opening that door, and then work back through all the steps that got you there, and then see them."

She is staring at him with perhaps the same odd expression she had when she first beheld a flight of his fevered mind.

"Thank god they tell us where the Olympics are going to be four or five years ahead of time," he concludes, and stares back at her.

A bystander, forced to ponder the passions of these visionaries, has two thoughts. The first is that maybe it takes one to know one. The second he puts into words, asking Devers and Kersee if what they strive for is synergy, a collaboration more potent than the sum of its parts.

"Trying to," says Kersee.

For her answer, Devers simply allows her head to drop in a bow of agreement. The gesture is reminiscent of the sprinter's last movement in the blocks before being called to the set position. It is a perfect expression of surrender, as Devers abandons herself to her destiny.

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