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Ivy Johnson was destined for Olympic glory. Born in San Diego, California, in August 1957, she was on track, in July 1976, to win multiple individual gold medals at the Montreal Olympics as her gift to her beloved county on its bicentennial anniversary.
For years, Ivy and her family had sacrificed everything in this effort. Ivy was as disciplined and hard working as humanly possible on the road to what she was certain would be victory, sponsorships, and financial remuneration for all their years of sacrifice.
Half way across the world, East Germany was tired of being stepped on by the Soviet Union. Cabinet level politicians felt that athletic achievement on an international stage could put East Germany on a more level playing field. Hard work alone wouldn’t guarantee anything, so they secretly put their young, star athletes on a “vitamin” regimen as early as age 11.
Hannah Eberhardt, born in Magdeburg, East Germany, in February 1960, was a role model extraordinaire. She was a devoted young socialist, dedicated to the Fatherland. She was also a supremely talented swimmer, and traded her youth for the rigors of training to become an Olympic champion.
Hannah headed to Montreal in July 1976 to bring gold back to the Fatherland, and to win in the memory of her good friend Elsi, whose death shortly before the Olympics cast a long shadow and consumed Hannah with anger and guilt.
Hannah won all three of her individual races in Montreal, handing Ivy defeat each time.
Ivy felt cheated, but had no proof, and slunk away as the media dubbed her and her teammates sore losers, breaking her spirit along the way.
Price of Gold follows these two women through their early years, their clash in 1976, and the years that follow, as lives are rebuilt, truths emerge, mysteries unfold, and both undergo cathartic transformations as they learn more about and begin to understand each other.
Price of Gold reveals, through both slow emotional evolution and explosive courtroom drama, that things are not always as simple as they seem, and that the women who actually lived this tragedy paid a very high price in their quest for gold.