My earliest and most
enduring sporting memory is the 1984 LA Olympics when Zola Budd took on US
athlete Mary Decker Slaney in the 3,000m.
I was only 6 years old, but I remember sitting cross legged on the floor in front of the telly, watching with my Dad John. Zola Budd was my hero growing up. I loved how she ran barefoot. In fact I used to run everywhere barefoot because of her. Decker and Budd collided, knocking the local sweetheart out of the race, and the blame was firmly put on Budd. Budd was 'adopted' by GB because of the anti apartheid ruling, which prevented SA athletes taking part.
I remember being mortified that Budd was being booed by the crowd and eventually limped in, in 7th when she had been tipped to win Gold. Dad said to me then, this is your first lesson in life, it's not always fair; but you have to fight on.
Fast forward 20 years
and I met and interviewed Zola Budd. I think she was a bit taken aback by how
interested I was in her, and her career. I still run barefoot whenever I can in
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Natalie shared this memory in support of the Sporting Memories Network. Read her profile page here
Memory added on June 22, 2013
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