Earlier this year Loren Seagrave, the new coach of long jumper Dwight Phillips, assessed his charge and pronounced, "Fat don't fly." The 2004 Olympic gold medalist had let himself go after failing to qualify for the '08 Games, putting on 26 pounds to balloon to 198. But Phillips, 31, dropped the weight and completed a remarkable comeback last Saturday, winning gold at the world championships.
This is an article from the Aug. 31, 2009 issue
Phillips's achievement came in a place, Berlin's Olympic Stadium, with special meaning to those in the sport: It was where Jesse Owens—with the help of some advice from German long jumper Luz Long—leaped to gold in the 1936 Games. Owens's granddaughter Marlene Dortch (right) was on hand to award the gold to Phillips, who had one thought: "That's just history looking me in the face. I'm just so honored by it."