My Dead Olympic Dream

How the IOC Ended the Hopes of a Karate Champion

When I was a kid I had a dream. One day I would walk into a stadium wearing red, white, and blue, waving the American flag, representing my country. The stadium would be packed with fans from all over the world decked out in their country’s colors. I’d cheer on my teammates, and they would cheer for me, and eventually I’d stand atop a podium with a flag draped over my shoulders and a medal around my neck, listening to “The Star-Spangled Banner” with tears running down my face.

In 2005, …