Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Comeback Kids

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Comeback Kids

Article excerpt

No More Mr. Nice Guy

At the 1992 Olympics, U.S. freestyle skier Donna Weinbrecht was the first gold medalist in moguls. But two weeks after that glorious triumph in France, Weinbrecht stood atop a mountain in Japan, frozen in place, paralyzed by fear. She was suddenly afraid of being injured, of falling, of crashing.

"My goal was gone; my glow was gone," she said of her post-Olympic depression.

She made it down the hill that day in Japan, and she continued to ski and train, albeit joylessly, for the rest of the season. Then in November, on a training run, her right knee came apart.

She missed the 1992-93 season to surgery and rehabilitation, but Weinbrecht says the accident gave her a new goal, another challenge, a reason to go for the glow one more time.

"I'm excited I have this second chance, and I'm definitely happy that at 28 I have a second chance."

***** No More Mr. Nice Guy

"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." F. Scott Fitzgerald

The label of "hero" might yet be a bit strong for U.S. speed skater Dan Jansen, but he has surely had his fill of trouble.

There were the two falls at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. While Jansen was crashing, his sister was dying. Jane had leukemia, but she wanted Dan to race. Then in 1992, Jansen had broken the world 500-meter record right before the Albertville Games, but again he couldn't score a medal.

Now he's back. His demure demeanor has given way to a quiet ferocity. Before his '92 Olympic races, Jansen would say, "I just want to skate the best I can."

But he has decided that valiant-effort stuff is for wimps. Now he says, "The No. …

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