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01 Sep 1972
Munich 1972

Diving King reigns supreme to banish ghosts of 1968


Unfinished business always preys on your mind, and America's Micki King arrived in Munich still pondering her bad fortune in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.

There, she had been leading after eight of ten dives in the Springboard section, but had then hit her arm on the ninth dive, breaking her left forearm.
Remarkably, she persevered and completed her tenth dive. The pain distracted her, though, and she finished the competition in fourth position, denied the medal she craved.

In Munich, she was determined that things would be different, and so they were. Instead of enjoying the atmosphere of the occasion, she decided that Munich would be “all business” and focused entirely on diving.

King, now 28 years old, took the lead at the end of the competition, steered clear of accidents, and sealed gold using exactly the same dive that she had attempted with a broken arm four years before. This time, though, she was to be crowned as Olympic champion.

Her post-competition drug test took so long, though, that, when she emerged, everyone but the doctors had gone home. She returned to the Olympic Village on her own and had a hot chocolate, but was then spotted by three Australian weightlifters. “A gold medallist shouldn't be drinking chocolate”
said one, before cracking open a bottle of celebratory wine.

King's career also included 26 years spent serving with the US Air Force, a spell as a sports commentator on television and also as the US Team Leader of the Olympic diving team. She led the team to both the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games while, in 1992, she attended as President of US Diving. Hers has been a busy and glittering career.

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