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In search of Michelle Smith, Part Three - The game was over but she was still sticking her chin out

Paul Kimmage


Far too many people were caught in the web of Smith controversy

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Michelle Smith de Bruin, and her husband and coach Eric de Bruin, during a press conference in 1988. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Michelle Smith de Bruin, and her husband and coach Eric de Bruin, during a press conference in 1988. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Michelle Smith de Bruin, and her husband and coach Eric de Bruin, during a press conference in 1988. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Michelle Smith was sitting at a table signing copies of her just-published biography. It was a November afternoon three months after the Games, and a couple of hundred people were queuing down the stairs at Easons in Galway.

Her husband, Erik, watched for a moment then set off to peruse the shelves. He didn’t realise his wife was being studied: Smith signed the proffered books with penmanship that was careful and girlish, right down to the tiny circle with which she topped off the second letter of Michelle.


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