fredag 12 september 2008

"She was 10 years old, - and ran like the wind"!

"True To Me: An Olympian's Victory Over Steroids."

Olympian talks about her battle with steroids

Fifteen-year-old Julian Keyz smiled as he shook the hand of and talked to an Olympian recently at the Park Forest Library. Keyz was among a dozen people who visited the library to hear Diane Williams tell her story and sign her new self-published book, "True To Me: An Olympian's Victory Over Steroids."

Williams grew up on Chicago's South Side and attended Dunbar Vocational High School where she was a track and field star. She ended up at Michigan State University on a scholarship and was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic track and field team. But she didn't make it to the Olympics because of the boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics.

She made the team again in 1984, but because she was had taken steroids from 1981 through 1984 she was "blackballed." She said her track coach gave her the drugs telling her they were vitamins. "That's what they looked like to me," she said.

Williams said she completely trusted her coach and only began to question him after taking them for a couple of years. She said her body changed. She had a deep voice, facial hair and was very muscular. "I looked just like a man," she said.

She said that after making the 1984 Olympic relay team, the first of two drug tests came back positive, the second was negative, but her teammates weren't receptive to her. Someone else participated in her place. Williams said she now understands other team members may have been concerned of all of them being disqualified because one person had tested positive. After that, she was done with the drugs and her coach, who is now banned from the sport because of steroids. She said she had to start again and get herself back into shape.

"I realized I ran faster when I wasn't on the drugs," she said.

In 1987, she won a gold medal in the 4 X 100 meter relay in the World Championships in Rome. Now she's written her story about her experiences with the drug. "I knew I wanted to tell this story," Williams said. "That's why it's self-published because I wanted to tell the unadulterated story." Her coach from her days at Dunbar attended the book signing.

Dorothy Dawson said she has always kept in touch with her and is glad Williams is sharing her experiences so that others can learn. "Parents need to look into things," she said. Dawson, who is president of the USA Track and Field, said some unethical coaches or parents want to give children steroids.

"If I had kids I'd make sure they'd bring their own water and juice," she said.

September 11, 2008, by Aracely Hernandez Correspondent

Inga kommentarer: