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Why Phelps still matters

Updated: August 18, 2004, 6:09 AM ET
By Eric Adelson | ESPN The Magazine

ATHENS, Greece -- This race was not for a million bucks. This race was for much, much more.

This race was for a sport that is dying in a football and basketball-obsessed country. This race was for a sport that is too-often drowned by budgetary cuts in a Title IX world. This race was for a sport that needs Michael Phelps to win gold medals not for endorsements or even pride, but for its very survival. More than anything, this race was for some nameless 7-year-old boy somewhere in ...

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