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Amanda Smock lands in the pit after her triple jump at the U.S. outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore. Smock, from Melrose, can hear her father's voice each time she takes off down the runway on the track. Her father believed she would make the U.S. squad for the London Olympics, even after Smock came up short at the U.S. trials four years ago. Rick Bowmer | Associated Press

Dream come true: Melrose native Smock used father's death as motivation for London games

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ST. PAUL - Maybe it's the laugh, which seemingly never stops. But if there ever was a U.S. Olympic athlete who was born to handle success, it is Amanda Smock.


In one respect, she's been training for the Olympic Games since she was a little kid. A prized photo in her home in Melrose is of a 4-year-old Amanda in a U.S. gymnastics uniform when she wanted to be the next Mary Lou Retton.

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