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Judge Said She Was Too Fat

Christy Henrich, as a teenager, ranked among America’s best gymnasts. But a judge told her that at 95 pounds, spread over a 4-foot-11 frame, she was too fat to make the 1988 Olympic team. So she began starving herself, subsisting some days on an apple or just an apple slice. If she ate more, she would force herself to vomit. She missed making the Olympics by a fraction of a point but, thanks to nine-hour training days, she placed fourth in the uneven parallel bars in 1989’s world championships in Stuttgart.

Last week—months after her weight fell to 52 pounds—she died at age 22 in a Kansas City hospital of multiple organ system failure. In the past two years, gymnastics officials have advised coaches and judges about the effects of anorexia and bulimia and urged them not to comment on the weights of gymnasts.

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