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I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike | NYT Opinion

I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike | NYT Opinion

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Mary Cain’s male coaches were convinced she had to get “thinner, and thinner, and thinner.” Then her body started breaking down. At 17, Mary Cain was already a record-breaking phenom: the fastest girl in a generation, and the youngest American runner to turn professional. In 2013, she was signed by the best track team in the world, Nike’s Oregon Project, run by its star coach Alberto Salazar. Then everything collapsed. Her fall was just as spectacular as her rise, and she shares that story for the first time in the Video Op-Ed above. Instead of becoming a symbol of girls’ unlimited potential in sports, Cain became yet another standout young athlete who got beaten down by a win-at-all-costs culture. Girls like Cain become damaged goods and fade away. We rarely hear what happened to them. W...