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Would be asking about "is there sci-fi books out there in general with athletics as a central part of the role?" (because I guess there's not many of those-BTW, is it possible to make a question like that? I am too much unused to this place), but currently I have a focus on this specific novelette I saw once.

It's about this futuristic version of the Olympics where the winner gets a grand prize of being jacked into this computer system that makes them superhuman, but the price of being unjacked from it (because you become useless) or never jacked into it (because you lost the Olympics-you need to start the program that will adapt your body to the jacking before entering and that means you seriously NEED to win) is that your body goes to the dumps REALLY fast-fatal in, at least, eight years afterwards.

Cover I recall has these two women running through a rocky field dressed in old-school gym outfits.

Anycase, thanks.

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The novel is Achilles' Choice by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes. Synopsis lifted from Amazon.com:

The world of 2048 is ruled by a council of computer-enhanced, "linked" people, with new members chosen every four years through a competitive mental, physical and aesthetical Olympics. In training, contender Jillian Shomer debates whether to use a "boost" to enhance her chances. Nobody who has not boosted can prevail over anyone who has, at least in the physical contests, but those who use the boost and do not win will die within 10 years--only the link can counteract its effects and only a council member can be linked.

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