The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my mother Renee, over facetime. I asked her to tell me about one of her most memorable childhood memories which was the time she saw the 1984 Summer Olympics. That summer, she experienced history being made by one of her biggest role models, Mary Lou Retton, who was the first ever American woman to win all-around gold medal at the Olympics.  My mother was a gymnast as well for many years, so she really looked up to Mary. She said the experience was unreal and she’ll never forget it.

It was the summer of 1984. Renee was in Los Angeles, California to, not only visit her best friend Candy for the duration of the summer, but to watch the 1984 Summer Olympics. Being that she lived in Maryland, going to Los Angeles was a completely new experience, especially for an eleven-year-old. Once told she was going to LA for the event, Renee could not hide her excitement. Her biggest role model, Mary Lou Retton, would be competing that summer. Mary Lou Retton was the first woman to win an all-around gold medal in the Olympics.

The day had come, and she was filled with excitement. She didn’t sleep much the night before because the anticipation of seeing the person she admired most wouldn’t let her. They loaded up Candy’s mom’s car and headed to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Walking, into the stadium, Renee felt overwhelmed. There were so many people and so many sounds, she didn’t know where to focus her attention.  

Vault, Renee’s favorite event, had begun. There were many competitors and she was dying to see Mary’s performance. “Where’s Mary? When will it be her turn?” she thought. It felt like an eternity until the announcer finally announced her name. The crowd roared as she ran out on the floor and then silenced, almost instantly as she got set to perform. Renee’s heart was pounding, and she could hear the blood rushing through her veins. Mary was still, and the crowd was silent. Suddenly, she took off sprinting towards the vault. Renee watched in amazement and in the blink of an eye, she was over the vault and back on both feet. The crowd roared as Mary smiled and waved after her perfect ten vault performance. It was over as quickly as it had started but Renee was in awe. She had seen the best thing her eleven-year-old self could ever want to see.

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Summer of 1984
Los Angeles, California

I interviewed my mother Renee, over facetime. I asked her to tell me about one of her most memorable childhood memories which was the time she saw the 1984 Summer Olympics. That summer, she experienced history being made by one of her biggest role models, Mary Lou Retton, who was the first ever American woman to win all-around gold medal at the Olympics. My mother was a gymnast as well for many years, so she really looked up to Mary. She said the experience was unreal and she’ll never forget it.

Decade: 1980s
Rating:
Recorded by Taylor Brice on December 7, 2018
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