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KATRIN THE GREAT
Alexander Wolff
October 21, 1991
World sprint champion Katrin Krabbe and many other athletes from the former East Germany are undergoing culture shock
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October 21, 1991

Katrin The Great

World sprint champion Katrin Krabbe and many other athletes from the former East Germany are undergoing culture shock

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"Katrin Krabbe is as much a part of Neubrandenburg as the four gates," says a well-dressed man in his 30's.

A young mother confesses that she is very envious of the local businesswoman's prosperity.

Krabbe and who? wonders a 13-year-old girl, pondering the K&K logo.

"Torsten Krentz," says an onlooker.

"Torsten Krentz?" she says. "Ich kenne ihn nicht." Never heard of him.

At the meet later this day Krabbe loses to Nigeria's Mary Onyali in the 100. Afterward she seems to want to frown or otherwise betray her disappointment, for she has been raised to believe that finishing second isn't something to smile about. But the cameras are insistent. Fifteen photographers surround her at the finish line, and she indulges them all. She is where she has always been, in Neubrandenburg. Only it is in the West now, and here it matters not only whether you win or lose, but how you play this bewildering new game.

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