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Allyson Felix: Olympic gold at last for athlete of uncommon grace

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"When you get to know Allyson, you would want her to babysit your children," her coach, Bob Kersee, told the Chicago Tribune.

But for the past four years, she has struggled and made no attempt to hide it. "Anything besides winning is utter failure to her," brother and agent Wes told ESPN, and for two consecutive Olympic Games, she had not won. 

First there was Athens, and Felix was the up-and-coming 18 year old who sprinted to an unexpected silver – the youngest track and field medalist at those Games. Under the stadium and away from the cameras, she still cried, crushed at losing.

Then came Beijing and another silver – again coming second to the same woman, Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown. When she saw her parents in the crowd after crossing the finish line in Beijing, she dissolved into tears right there on the track.  

But on Wednesday, those tears became something more than a bitter memory. They became part of a journey that, while perhaps not the one that Felix had imagined, led to someplace that was sweeter for the struggle. 

"The moments that motivated me were losing on the biggest stage," she said after the race Wednesday. "Now I am able to say that I embrace that journey because that's what brought me here."

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