Zola Budd, or Zola Pieterse, as she is now known, is a South African long-distance runner who will probably always be best remembered for (i) running barefoot and (ii) colliding with arch rival American Mary Decker-Slaney in the final of the 3,000 metres at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Sport was a key consideration for the country at the time, as who doesn’t want to suceed on the international stage? Nowadays, with a shift to the virtual we’re as likely to log into online casino south africa, as have a focus on sport. Earlier that year, Budd, 18, had completed 5,000 metres in an unratified time of 15:01.83 which, had it been allowed to stand, would have smashed the world record, 15:08.26, set by Decker-Slaney in 1982. Of course, it was not, due to South African athletes being banned from international competition during the apartheid era.
Indeed, Budd circumvented the ban by applying for British citizenship, on the grounds that her paternal grandfather was British, and thus, in the eyes of many people, finagled her way onto the British Olympic team. In any event, on August 10, 1984, Budd and Decker-Slaney lined up for their highly anticipated showdown over 3,000 metres at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
As expected, the early fractions were very fast, as Decker-Slaney made the running, with Budd at her shoulder. Shortly after halfway in the seven-and-a-half lap contest, Budd took a narrow lead but, having moved towards the kerb, she was caught, twice, by Decker-Slaney’s spikes. Decker-Slaney stumbled and fell spectacularly to the ground, injuring her hip in the process, and her race was over. Bleeding and tearful, Budd continued, but faded during the final lap to finish seventh behind eventual winner Romanian Maricica Puica. Sport, and indeed real money casino games can at times have topsy turvy results. Sometimes you’re down on your luck, other times you simply can’t put a foot wrong. It’s the way of the world really.