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E-ticket: Hanging By A Thread

Originally Published: February 7, 2008
By By Wright Thompson | ESPN.com
Editor's Note: With the 2008 Summer Games six months away, E-ticket chronicles the Olympic dreams of Chinese athletes. In August 2007, Wright Thompson looked at a side of China that organizers don't want you to see.

I. THE PRESENT: STRUGGLING TO DELAY THE INEVITABLE

Caught in the middle
If a storm of emotions hides somewhere beneath the surface of Guo Jingjing, it does not show. Maybe she has created an entire world inside her head -- one with hopes, fears, ambitions, dreams -- living the life in there she is not allowed out here. Or maybe she is actually an empty vessel, which is how she seems climbing the stairs at the national diving team headquarters in Beijing. Taking a left at the Olympic countdown clock hanging on the wall at the landing between the first and second floors, she floats down the hall, her face soft and serene, her feet making precious little noise.

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