Oh, Canada

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Outside magazine, May 1996

Oh, Canada

It’s not easy following in the footsteps of Ben Johnson, but Canadian Donovan Bailey–the reigning 100-meter world champion who at press time had won six of the seven indoor events he’d entered in 1996–is doing just that. Last February at the glitzy Reno Air Games, he ran the
50-meter dash in 5.56 seconds to break a 23-year-old world record. Ironically, the old mark had already been bested in 1987 by Johnson but was struck from the books after his infamous steroid scandal. While Canadians no longer wince at the mention of Johnson, they probably wish their first post-Ben world record came somewhere a little more wholesome than the Reno Games, the only
track-and-field event in America with legal wagering and an opening ceremony featuring showgirls on Harleys.

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