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Kyla Ross
At Bela and Martha Karolyi's retreat, gymnastics charges ahead
At Bela and Martha Karolyi's retreat, gymnastics charges ahead

Afternoon descends on the piney woods of East Texas with a heat that clings to your skin, the air so thick you have to work at drawing a full breath. Not that the owner of the Karolyi Ranch seems to mind as he bounces along in a utility vehicle that looks like a supercharged golf cart, its knobby tires encrusted with mud. Bela Karolyi steers toward a sparkling body of water just beyond the trees and launches into a story about how he dug the lake himself, learning to drive a bulldozer and pushing dirt for six months. "I'm good at it," he says. "I love it." Every bit the gentleman rancher in khaki pants and a red-checked shirt, Bela stops at the shore. Catfish...

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