People Who Kick Buts: Mary Decker Slaney
I was born to be a runner. I simply love to run. It’s almost like the faster I go, the easier it becomes.
- Born in New Jersey on August 4, 1958.
- A year later, aged 11, she won her first local competition.
- Unable to attend the 1972 Olympics as she was too young, the pigtailed 89 pounds (40 kg) 14 year old nicknamed “Little Mary Decker,” won international acclaim in 1973 with a win in the 800 meters at a US-Soviet meet in Minsk, beating the later Olympic silver medallist.
- In 1980, she broke the world record for the women’s mile, running a 4:17.55 to become the first woman to break the 4:20 barrier for the mile.
- She retired with her husband to a 55-acre (220,000 m2) ranch in Eugene, Oregon, where she can now jog every other day.