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'I had a dream to follow'

How has life changed for the pint-sized Olympic star?

Originally Published: November 30, 2012
By Carmen Renee Thompson | ESPN The Magazine

I DIDN'T FEEL PRESSURE during the Olympics to become the first African-American to win an individual all-around gold medal in gymnastics. I actually felt more pressure during the Olympic trials. There were no guaranteed spots, so the hardest part -- the thing I worried about -- was just making the team. Trials was when I learned to deal with the pressure of performing in the spotlight, of having everyone watching me. Can you do it or not?

Of course I still got ...

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