Born October 3, 1967 in Washington, D.C. 5-4.5/1.64m 118lbs./53kg Ballou HS, Washington, DC '85 Arizona State '90 PRs (outdoor): 100 11.49 '88 (11.41w '88) 200 24.58 '84 100H 12.67 '93 (12.66w '92) LJ 20-0.25/6.10m '87 PRs (indoor): 55 6.81 '87 50H 6.89 '90 55H 7.44 '90 60H 7.93 '95 Major Meets (100H unless noted): 1984 6)USA Junior 1985 1)USA Junior 5)USA Junior LJ 1987 4)NCAA Indoor 55 3)NCAA 5s)USA 1988 7h)NCAA 100 1)NCAA 3)USA 5s)Olympic Trials 1989 1)USA 3)World Cup 1990 2)USA Indoor 55H 1)NCAA Indoor 55H 1)NCAA 3)USA 1991 dnf-s)USA 1992 4)USA Indoor 60H 3)Olympic Trials 4)Olympic Games 3)GP Final 1993 1)USA 3)World Championships 1994 3)USA Indoor 60H 5)USA 1995 1)USA Indoor 60H 7h)World Indoor 60H 8)USA 1996 2)Olympic Trials 7)Olympic Games Major Relays: 1988 1)NCAA 4 x 100 
A month before the '96 Olympic Trials, Lynda Tolbert-Goode didn't have the strength to get out of bed. A victim of Epstein-Barr virus, she considered the possibility that all the hard training she had put in for a second Olympic berth may have flown out the window. "Everyone else is training," she thought, "and I'm laid up in bed. How in the world am I going to do this?"
Not surprisingly, her hurdling leading up to the Trials suffered and when the predictions for the meet came out, no one tabbed Tolbert-Goode for a team spot. Didn't mattered that she had just missed winning a medal in Barcelona. What's she done lately?
"How am I ever going to get through this?" she thought. "Only through the grace of God. So be patient. And endure. Don't give up because it's hard."
Somehow, when the time came to step to the line in Atlanta, she could run. Rounds of 12.78, 12.94 and 12.74 brought her to the final. There she ran 12.69, her fastest since she won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Stuttgart in 1993. She made the team for Atlanta with her runner-up finish behind Gail Devers.
Then, at the Olympic Games, Tolbert-Goode made the final, and finished seventh in 13.11, after a 12.77 semi. "To me, it was a stellar year," she says, "because no one picked me to even make the team. You can imagine when I finished second; it was an eye opener for everybody."
The virus, of course, made her task seem insurmountable at times. "It was not a cakewalk," she admits. "It was a very difficult time in my life. Especially when people put pressure on you, like my track club: 'Are you healthy? Are you healthy? If you don't run, then this may happen.' I was like, 'Oh wow, I guess I better get my rump into gear.'"
Her advantage, she says, was having husband Jerald Goode help her through. The two met in 1990, a year she describes as one of her most trying ever. She won NCAA finals indoors and out. She placed third at USA nationals and was on the way to her best season yet. Then she decided to move from Arizona to Gainesville to follow coach Tom Jones, who had taken the women's head coaching job at Florida.
She left her health in Arizona. "I had stress fractures in both my feet, I had problems in my right hamstring, and things were just not going good," she says.
"I was through. It was like, "Why did I move here? I can't run, I can't do anything.' I was coming off a really good year and spiraling down. I thought, 'I don't need this.' I would have to say that was the worst time of my life. Track and field was what I really desired to do, but I was injured. If I can't run, I can't make money. If I can't make money, then I can't survive. And I need to find a job. You get those thoughts that come up in your mind. You start to doubt yourself and doubt your ability. Sometimes that's not good.
"That was the same year I met Jerald. He helped me through prayer. He prayed with me and kept me on that straight and narrow path; kept my head together and encouraged me tremendously, and stuck with it. That's why I married that man," she says with a laugh.
Tolbert-Goode has spanned a multitude of hurdles since her first "Fun Day" at Ballou High School in Washington, D.C. Her coach back then, Philip Faxio, decided to have everyone try the hurdles on that particular Fun Day. He liked what he saw in Tolbert-Goode and promoted her to the shuttle hurdle relay team.
By the time she matriculated to Arizona State, she had hurdled 13.61. Coach Jones started to put her through the drills and the results came quickly. "We used to drill, drill, drill and drill," explains Tolbert-Goode. "He's a very technical coach. With the technique work and with him drilling us to death, it paid off. It really paid off."
As a frosh, she ran 13.06, placed third at the NCAAs, and ranked number five in the nation. She won the NCAAs in 1988, and came back in 1990 to take the title again. In between, she won a bronze at the 1989 World Cup.
In 1992, Tolbert-Goode came of age as a world class hurdler, improving to 12.71 and ranking number four in the world on the heels of her fourth-place finish in Barcelona. She came home from Spain hungry for a medal, but soon after was hampered by stress fractures. The timing was good -- as good as it could be -- she was able to recover for the next season and make it to the medals podium at the World Championships in 1993.
Now, in 1997, Tolbert-Goode wants to return to the podium. "I want to qualify for the World Championships and win a medal there. That would be fantastic," she says, noting, "I am still dealing with this Epstein-Barr. I want to be totally rid of that. Viruses come and go and I want this one to get stepping. I want to get healthy.
"Training is going a little slow because of the virus. I have good days and I have bad days." She gets her workouts from Jones long distance now because she is back training in Arizona. Husband Jerald goes to the track with her and puts her through her paces. It doesn't matter that he doesn't have an extensive background in track. "Only if you count triple jumping in elementary school," she says. "Other than that, no. But he has a wonderful technical eye for hurdling, so it works."
Tolbert-Goode plans to stay in the mix through the year 2000. "I'd love to do Sydney at the turn of the century," she says. The secret to her longevity? "You got to be patient. You require so much of your body, and your body is really not made to go over hurdles and put up with the abuse that we are used to. A lot of times you get injured or you get sick. Just be patient. Hopefully through prayer it will all come together."
For Tolbert-Goode, making the 1996 Olympic team was proof positive.