Why did I become involved with the 1984 Olympic Trials?
AnswerI was probably the most unlikely person to become involved with the '84 Olympics, but it happened because I signed a contract with Olympic gymnastic hopeful, Dianne Durham, and became her agent. Dianne was a phenomenal gymnast who I was very confident would qualify to represent the United States in the '84 games. Read on to learn how my Olympic dreams were turned into nightmares . . .
The OlympicsTrials were fast approaching. My only hope for a return on my investment was for Dianne to make the team and go on to win a gold medal. I was encouraged that she was training with Bela Karolyi, who coached Nadia Comaneci to gold medals in the 1979 Montreal Olympics. Training with Dianne was Mary Lou Retton at Bela’s Sundance Gymnastics club in Houston, Texas.
My hopes and prayers were dashed when I received a disturbing call from my attorney in Chicago. With less than six months before the Olympic trials, Dianne abruptly left Bela‘s gym. I was also told by my attorney that Dianne’s parents severed my contractual agreement with Dianne, resulting in me losing a great deal of money. I was furious.
The decision to leave Bela also affected Dianne’s blossoming career. It was unthinkable and reckless that Dianne deserted Bela, who was an internationally known coach, and then settle for training with a coach with absolutely no Olympic experience. The real tragedy, however, occurred when Dianne, just months before the Olympic trials, returned to Bela, who tried his best to whip her into shape. Ironically, she sprained her ankle in vaulting, her best event, and was unable to finish the trials. Because she had lost a series of key competitions while with another coach, she was denied petitioning to be on the 1984 Olympic team.
I was nearly ruined by my financial lost, but I was more concerned with Dianne’s loss. She had been in training for years for the opportunity to reach the Olympics. Pound for pound, she was as good as—if not better than—Mary Lou Ret- ton. Dianne would have won gold.
Search result for 'Bela Karolyi' in Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir
Chapter 8: Interment - 1981-1986
"...return on my investment was for Dianne to make the team and go on to win a gold medal. I was encouraged that she was training with Bela Karolyi, who coached Nadia Comaneci to gold medals in the 1979 Montreal Olympics. Training with Dianne was Mary Lou Retton at Bela’s Sundance Gymnastics club in Houston, Texas. ..."