By Jim Lutz
FOUR years ago, Gabrielle Rose used her dual citizen-ship and represented Brazil in Atlanta at the Olympic Games. Over the course of the past four years, she continued to train with her Stanford teammates and became keenlyaware of the importance of team.
Leading into the 2000 Olympic Trials, Gabrielle had a very difficult decision to make. Her times assured her a spot on the Brazilian team, but her heartstrings were being pulled by her loyalty to and love for the U.S.
Had she chosen to compete for Brazil as she had done four years prior, no one would have thought any less of her. Gabrielle had other plans in mind. Even though she was thought to have only an outside chance to make the US team, she had decided to risk everything for the opportunity to represent the USA.
As Gabrielle touched the wall in lane one and turned to see her time and place in the 200 IM, tears of joy and amazement engulfed her total emotional state.
Thunderous applause and tears sweep her teammates and her coaches.
Gabrielle didn't win the event but she did get second, removing any doubt that she is in fact good enough to earn her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.
With each new member of the 2000 Olympic Team a sense of deep patriotism and character becomes a prominent aspect of this team. Rookies and veterans alike, this team is developing into a very special group. We as
Americans should be thankful that our team is comprised of individuals wanting to represent our country in a manner that makes all of us proud to be Americans.
Gabrielle, congratulations and welcome home…although we never felt you had ever left.