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AUGUST 11, 1980
At the Moscow
Olympics, Great Britain's Sebastian Coe outkicked countryman Steve Ovett to win
the 1,500 meters after a disappointing loss in the 800. SI writer Kenny Moore
witnessed the golden moment.
COE'S LAST 800
was 1:48.5, far more impressive than his final time of 3:38.4, but he cared
about none of that. As he crossed the line he showed a joy these Games had not
yet seen. Coe went to his knees in an exaggerated gesture of thanksgiving,
touching his forehead to the track. Then he was up on a victory lap, dodging a
guard who was there to prevent such frivolity, his face open as a child's in
its array of emotions. Clearly, Coe's earlier calm had shielded tremendous
strain. "I was surprised by the strength of my reaction," he would say
a day later. "When I watched that display on the replay it was a bit
embarrassing. But it was such a bloody marvelous relief."
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