Sport: The Way It Might Have Been

A year later, Mary Decker Slaney puts away Zola Budd

The last time the world paid any special heed to Mary Decker and Zola Budd, the two women were leaving Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, both in obvious emotional pain, both hounded by the press, both with tears streaking their faces. Halfway through the Olympic 3,000-meter final, Budd, the barefoot sensation from South Africa, went a half-stride ahead and cut in slightly on Decker, the U.S. champion competing in her first Games. In one heart-stopping instant, Decker got tangled up in Budd's feet and crashed. As she cried out with the pain of a torn muscle and the sight of her Olympic...

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