Alice Brown
Alice Brown 1984.jpg
Brown at the 1984 Olympics
Personal information
NationalityAmerican
Born (1960-09-20) September 20, 1960 (age 61)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Height5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Weight130 lb (59 kg) (1987)
Sport
SportAthletics
Event(s)100 m, 200 m
College teamCal State Northridge Matadors[1]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 m – 10.92 (1988)
200 m – 22.39 (1988)[1][2]

Alice Regina Brown (born September 20, 1960)[1] is a retired American sprinter. Competing at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics she won two relay gold medals and an individual silver medal. She attended John Muir High School (Pasadena, California)[3] and California State University, Northridge.[4]

1980 Olympics

Brown qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic track and field team but did not compete due to the U.S. Olympic Committee's boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, USSR. She was one of 461 athletes to receive a Congressional Gold Medal instead.[5]

1984 Olympics

Noted for her fast start, she was the 1st leg runner in two US Olympic 4×100 Relay teams 1984–88, both teams winning the gold. At the 1984 Summer Olympics, in the individual 100 metres, Brown and American teammate Jeanette Bolden charged out to the lead, only to be overtaken by world record holder Evelyn Ashford, with Brown clearly taking the silver medal.[6] Later, the U.S. relay team won the gold medal beating Canada by over a second, the greatest winning margin in the event's history. This was due to a very strong team which included all three U.S sprinters that made the 100 m final and Brown's superb start. The US were clear favourites as the GDR and USSR teams who would have provided stiff competition were absent due to the Eastern Bloc boycott. The team was never seriously challenged, leading from gun to tape and triumphing with a time of 41.65 seconds, one of the fastest times in history. Shortly after the Olympics, she competed in the 100 metres at the Friendship Games in Prague, which were held as an event for sportspeople from Communist countries who were boycotting that year's Olympics: the only US track athlete to enter the competition, she was unable to repeat her Olympic medal success there.[7]

1987 World Championship

In 1987 Alice won 4×100 relay Gold at the World Championships Rome, Italy. A very strong and well-drilled team consisting of Diane Williams (2nd Leg), Florence Griffith-Joyner (3rd Leg) and Pam Marshall (anchor) were favorite. They won their semi-final with a time over a second faster than the usually dominant GDR team. They went on to win the final from the GDR team (Silver), clocking a time of 41.58 CR, which was a U.S record at the time, and still ranks as one of the fastest times in history.

1988 Olympics

In the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games all nations were present for the first time since the Montréal games in 1976. In the final of the Women's 4×100 Relay all the strongest nations were present except for the Jamaicans who were non starters. Alice Brown once again led the United States challenge running the first leg. In a superb piece of relay running, she left the field trailing in her wake. By the time she handed over to Sheila Echols (2nd Leg), she had caught and was passing the Bulgarian athlete in the next lane. Florence Griffith-Joyner (3rd Leg) took over and ran solidly, handed over to Evelyn Ashford (anchor), who in very impressive fashion made up three metres on Marlies Göhr and led the US team to victory by a clear metre. The winning time was down (41.98 seconds) on the U.S record due to sloppy baton exchanges. It was superior basic speed and sheer talent that won the U.S their second consecutive gold in this event.

References

  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Alice Brown". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved September 20, 2008.
  2. ^ "Alice Brown". trackfield.brinkster.net.
  3. ^ Melendez, Miguel (April 10, 2009) Track & Field: Muir’s Cooper shoots for the stars. Pasadena Star News
  4. ^ Hiserman, Mike (June 11, 1988). "Running for Respect : Alice Brown Has Won National Titles and Olympic Medals, but the Acclaim She Resolutely Pursues Remains Her Goal". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry (2008). Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  6. ^ 1984 Olympic Women's 100 m final on YouTube
  7. ^ Henson, Mike (October 18, 2021). "Friendship Games 1984: When Great Britain took part in the 'Iron Curtain Olympics'". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved November 6, 2021.

Further reading