Rivals Flanagan And Goucher Become Friends

Coach Jerry Schumacher (left) has two potential Olympic medalists under his wing in Shalane Flanagan (center) and Kara Goucher (right).

They now have the same coach.

Based on the synergy going on between Olympians Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan, the chances for an American medal at the 2012 Olympics in London are more than good.

Both runners, now teammates under Portland-based coach Jerry Schumacher, qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon team at the Trials last month in Houston.

Video–The Rivalry: Flanagan vs. Goucher

“There is a potential that we both could home with a medal,” Flanagan said. “I mean it’s realistic.”

Though both runners have been rivals in the past, there’s now doubt they are friends first.

“I’ve always admired her, her work ethic,” Goucher said of Flanagan. “She’s beat me a lot, and I’ve beaten her every once and a while. There is a lot of respect there. But I never had spent a lot of time with her.”

Last year, Goucher, who had been under Coach Alberto Salazar, switched to Schumacher.

“Initially, when the idea was proposed, I was a little apprehensive,” Flanagan said of the move. “When I envisioned my Olympic buildup, Kara was not a part of it. I envisioned Lisa [Uhl] and I. This was my situation, my group. At first, I was a little scared, to have her join, because we both wanted the same thing.”

For More: Oregon Live

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