The documentary–“Runner”– about Mary Decker will make its premier tonight on ESPN at 7 p.m. (Texas time). The heavily hyped doc is part of the terrific Nine for IX series celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
There probably has never been a more controversial, divisive and talented American runner than Mary Decker (now Slaney) who at one time held every American record from 800 meters to 10,000 meters. At the time of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Decker, who hailed from Southern California, was the gold-medal favorite in the 3000 meters. But she tangled feet with the barefooted teenager Zola Budd and went down in a heap by the side of the track. This iconic fall is the centerpiece of the film which is directed by award winning film maker Shola Lynch who was also a national-class runner.
Says Lynch, “When I was 14, I broke a national track record and was being compared to Mary Decker. “She seemed like a relatable, old-fashioned American girl whom we all wanted to be. I think it’s time to revisit how we remember her.”
Again, ESPN tonight at 7 p.m.