Thirty-eight years ago, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the medal dreams of America’s Mary Decker and Britain’s Zola Budd were unfortunately dashed.
Mary Dekker had already entered the competition as the current world star by winning gold medals in the double events of 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters in the 1983 Helsinki World Indoor Games. All she had left was the dream of winning an Olympic gold medal in her homeland. Many Americans had come to watch the game that day just to witness the occasion. Her gold medal dream was somewhat challenged by England’s Zola Budd, who periodically snatched the 5,000m world record from her.
South Africa is the homeland of Sola Bud, who has been running barefoot since childhood. But by the 1980s, due to the rampant apartheid in the country, the doors of the international arena were closed to South Africa. Moreover, even the 5,000m world record she broke in South Africa in 1984 was prevented from being included in the official world records by the World Athletics Association for that reason. The South African sports ban that began with the 1964 Mexico City Olympics lasted until the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Because of this, Zola Budd’s Olympic dream was fading, but suddenly that dream came true when she was granted citizenship of England a few months before the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.Although Zola Budd was a black South African by birth, her British kinship was the main factor in her gaining this citizenship, as her grandfather was a white man who came from England and worked in South Africa during the colonial period.
The women’s 3,000m final has begun at the Los Angeles Olympics. By the end of the 1,700 meters, Mary Decker and Zola Budd were leading the pack. Mary Decker, who tries to push past Sola Bud to escape the group, suddenly trips on Sola’s leg and falls down the track into the playground, being injured to the point where she cannot stand up again. When the Olympic gold medal dream of World Sun was shattered in their own land, angry American viewers started shouting in protest to Sun Bud. The organizing committee had to announce that they were the host nation in order to silence the restless domestic spectators.
The Game is over. Sola Budd finished the race in seventh place. Taking into account the initial protest from Dekker, the Olympic authorities decided to remove Sola from the competition. But in the post-investigation, video footage revealed that Zola Budd’s bare toes, trying to escape from the crowd, almost stepped on Mary Decker’s shoe several times and that this unexpected accident occurred when Zola Budd immediately removed her foot, causing Decker to lose her balance. is After that, Zola Budd was acquitted of the relevant charges.
The final result of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was that the dream of Olympic gold medals for two world stars went down in history as a dream. It can be considered as a fateful event that at least both of them could not win any medals. She later agreed with the opinion of the sports commentators that Zola Budd had unthinkingly backed down and finished seventh in that competition.’How can I win a medal when an entire audience that is so hot is screaming against me’ Zola explained the reason. ‘I was afraid of winning a medal. I wanted to lose Barefoot runner Zola Budd is a living example of how wrong preconceived notions and interpretations can hinder and block the path of the right people.
She had the endurance to run three thousand meters barefoot. She also agreed to choose a country other than her motherland in search of opportunities to run. She had to end the competition due to a decision that was misunderstood by the outside world, without thinking about winning a medal.