It’s funny when you look back at how much sports have changed over the years. While some things remain the same, other things have most certainly changed. Nowadays, when you think of athletes- especially runners- your mind tends to wander towards thoughts of doping and other illegal drug use. But whatever happened to competing in sports because of the pure love and adrenaline rush that you got from it? The crowd anxiously cheering you on, pushing you through yet another lap- your body about to give out because you’re expending every last ounce of energy you have to edge out the person who’s rapidly sneaking up on your shoulder?
My favorite runner of all time is Mary Decker Slaney, and recently, I came across two famous video clips of her running. The clips are of her running both the 1500m as well as the 3000m at the 1983 World Championships. In the second clip of her running the 1500m, Mary was coming off of having just won the 3000m. She was being challenged by three Soviet women, and towards the end of the race, one of these Soviets (Zamira Zajtseva), passed her, making it look as if Mary wasn’t going to win the race. However, in a dramatic turn of events, Mary managed to dig down and muster up the energy to sprint past Zajtseva, winning the race in the last 30 meters.
This double win earned the races the nickname of the “Double Decker”. If you haven’t seen the footage before, I highly encourage watching it. I’ve seen it several times now, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a runner or an athlete or what- but each time, I can feel my heart pounding as if I’m there- actually running the race.
I’ve always got such high expectations for myself. I’m aware of them, but I can’t relax them. -Mary Decker Slaney-