The Telegram

 

Beth Wojciechowicz MD opened the telegram on July 1st and smiled. It was expected confirmation, accepted as part of the USA Olympic Team, departing to Munich in five weeks’, on August 18th 1972.

She had three roles, a doctor on the medical team, a running reserve for the 100 and 200 meters, and squad member of the 4x100 meters relay. At 27, she was at her peak of fitness but still regarded herself as a purely amateur athlete. Most of the top athletes were totally professional. Although she had won a sports scholarship at college, she’d had to self-finance her way through med school and, as a consequence, her athletics training and participation in competitions had taken a back seat. Mostly, she was delighted to be involved in her first Olympics as a doctor, even though her aunt would have to take up much of the slack in the community hospital during her absence.

This was also going to be a first return to the continent of her birthplace for her, too, since she was about three years old. Although she had most of the features of a pale-skinned black woman, this was 25 years before the term African American became the acceptable term for her racial description, she had been born in England to mixed-...

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Tony Spencer
Oct 21 2020

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