In November 1976, DeFrantz voted for Jimmy Carter. By 1980, she wanted a mulligan.
She had just trained another three-plus years to earn a spot on the 1980 Olympic rowing team — until Carter announced the U.S. would be boycotting the Moscow Games to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Other Olympic athletes groaned and threw up their hands in disgust; DeFrantz actually did something about it.
She demanded a meeting with Carter. She wasn’t going to stop until she got it. She warned her parents the DeFrantz name was going to be dragged through the mud in the coming months, that she would be “standing up to suppress” the president of the United States. She told her folks if they wanted her to end her crusade, tell her now. They answered: Go get ’em.
“I didn’t mind killing my career,” she said.
She had ideas for Carter. She said the ’80 team could just boycott Moscow’s opening ceremony to send a message. Or they could have just one person walk in carrying the U.S. flag. Or, like the European countries, they could enter solemnly under the Olympic flag “so the president wouldn’t be embarrassed.”
READ MORE at the Sports Business Journal: https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Journal/Issues/2022/09/12/Champions/Anita-DeFrantz.aspx
Official blog of author, athlete, and IOC official, Ms. Anita DeFrantz.