“Those feelings are still there. They hurt every day, but again, you have to be able to cope,” says former Razorback diver Lindsey Davis.
The news of the 2020 Olympics being postponed, brings back memories.
“I still remember it now, 40 years down the road.”
As a diver in 1975, Davis became the first women’s scholarship athlete at the University of Arkansas.
In 1979 She was preparing for the international stage.
“We worked hard. I knew the Olympics was the ultimate dream of mine,” adds Davis.
She was on her way to the Olympics Trials when her dream came to a screeching hault.
On March 21, 1980, President Jimmy Carter made this announcement, “I have notified the Olympic Committee that with Soviet invading forces in Afghanistan, that neither the American people nor I will suppose sending an American team to Moscow.”
“It was devastating. When you train that hard, and work that hard for your ultimate goal, and then it just bursts,” says Davis, “At that point, for me it was going to be four more years to train and compete again.”
Forced to make one of the hardest decisions of her life, Davis ended her diving career.
“I knew that I needed to go to work. I knew my goal on down the line was going to be to teach and coach.”
She has always been an advocate for women in sports, and has built her career as a state championship coach at Bentonville High School.
Still, there will always be the void 1980 left behind.
40 years later, and she’s understands the emotions the current Olympic hopefuls are feeling.
“Those athletes now, I know they are devastated, but like I said, keep swinging and don’t ever give up on your dreams,” says Davis.
They will only have to wait a year, unlike the four years she would have had to wait for the Summer Olympics in 1984. When she was asked what she would’ve done if she were in their shoes…
“I would’ve waited”