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Laura Wilkinson - Low Expectations

Famous Sports StarsDivingLaura Wilkinson Biography - Early Years, Olympic Hopes In Question, Low Expectations, "do It For Hilary", Chronology - CONTACT INFORMATION

Low Expectations

Despite Wilkinson's impressive record, she was not a favorite going into the 2000 Olympics even before she broke her foot. The Chinese team had dominated the event in the previous years, winning the gold in the platform event in every Olympics since 1984. The two Chinese competitors this year, 15-year-old Sang Xue and 16-year-old Li Na, were already international champions and were heavily favored to win in Sydney as well.

Indeed, after the first round of the platform competition Li was first and Sang was second in the standings. Wilkinson was eighth, which was quite an accomplishment considering her handicaps. To climb the 40 steps to the top of the diving tower in Sydney, Wilkinson had to wear a kayaker's boot to protect her right foot. She was limited in her selection of dives, since the lump of bone on the bottom of her foot was extremely painful to run on, which ruled out dives that required running starts.

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