I met her at the Safeway just down the hill from our house. An slightly bent-over woman with a walker who didn’t appear that much older than me. We exchanged comments at the cheese counter about getting an education, then that education didn’t guarantee common sense. And, that occasionally, being a woman meant that you just had to work harder.
She also remarked that, long ago in Tokyo, wearing her USA team clothing didn’t get her a seat in a restaurant. Apparently being Black was more important than being courteous to a visitor. We introduced ourselves, chatted a few minutes longer, then went on our ways. And I am thinking – Olympics?
Finding information on the male athletes from 1964? No problem. Finding one of the women? A bit more of a challenge. But starting with the name Rosie and assuming California – I found her. Rosie competed in the 80 meter hurdles, coming in 8th overall. There are other athletes in her family, she doesn’t capitalize on them. For years, she has been quietly supporting various athletic clinics along with other Olympians. She is a tireless advocate for seniors. None of this she told me, and it took a while to dig it out.