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SYDNEY, Australia _ Maureen O'Toole had been the Michael Jordan of her sport, but she never played on the world's biggest stage.
Her legacy included being named a six-time world MVP in women's water polo, and yet her career was incomplete. While the men have competed in Olympic water polo since 1904, the women had been excluded.
O'Toole, who made her debut in 1978 at the age of 17, waited and waited before giving up hope of playing for a gold medal. She quit in 1994 to raise her daughter.
"I felt like (never getting to play in the Olympics) was always something I'd be missing," O'Toole said.
Then while having breakfast one morning in 1998, …