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A knot in the ribbon

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 08 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2009
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}

    The competitor in the rhythmic gymnastics final at the 2000 Olympic Games set a blinding pace, twirling her 3 m long ribbon as she somersaulted and flipped. Halfway through, disaster struck, and the ribbon doubled back on itself and knotted. Her chances at the gold medal now irretrievably lost, the athlete continued on bravely to the end, her ribbon no longer rippling properly. She had lost but she did not give in.

    My friend sat in front of the television, blinking back tears. A gymnast herself, her own ribbon …

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