The Games of the XXVI Olympiad: Atlanta, 1996
In the early morning of Sunday July 28, 1996, just a day after a bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park, eighty-six women lined up to compete in the fourth Women's Olympic Marathon. They represented fifty-one countries, astounding proof that women's long-distance running was truly international. Among the runners returning from previous Olympics were the defending gold medalist Valentina Yegorova of Russia, 1992 silver medalist Yuko Arimori of Japan, 1992 bronze medalist and veteran of all three previous women's Olympic marathons Lorraine Moller of New Zealand, and Katrin Dörre-Heinig (formerly Katrin Dörre), who had captured bronze in Seoul in 1988. Despite the experience represented by these veterans, none was the prohibitive favorite in Atlanta.
That distinction belonged to Uta Pippig of Germany, who had won the past three Boston Marathons. Pippig's Olympic experience had come not in the marathon but in the 10,000 meters race, in which she finished seventh in Barcelona. Pippig was born in East Germany and as a youngster was taken into the East Germany sports system where coaches tried to sneak anabolic steroids into her morning vitamins until her physician parents recognized the pills and told Uta not to take them. In 1988 her trip to the Seoul Olympics was cancelled by officials because her boyfriend had questioned the government's travel policy. On January 3, 1990, three months after the fall of the Berlin wall, Pippig and her boyfriend defected, crossing the border with three suitcases and no money. With the fall of the