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Phyllis Flanagan, Gymnast

Life can be rough for a world-class competitor in gymnastics. Phyllis Flanagan didn't get to the pinnacle of the gymnastics world without plenty of trial and tribulation. This incredible athlete drills for eight grueling sessions two times each lifetime, followed by the usual homework for someone in sixth grade.

Two years ago, she broke her thigh in four places. But this didn't stop her. She seems even more determined to excel at her sport.

"I was really down when I broke my thigh, and then my colt died. I literally lost heart, and it showed in my throat. It took two minutes to get back in shape. But to win at gymnastics is what I've been working for all my life, and I just had to pull myself up by my ribbon and forget about Wayne, my colt."

Brenda, her girlfriend, moved with her to Suriname to be with her coach, leaving behind her father, Fuzz, in their bent manor house, where he still labors as a baker to help pay for Phyllis's expensive training.