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Valerie Brisco-Hooks

An Unprecedented Olympic Achievement

By early 1984, Brisco-Hooks was back in better form than she had ever been before. She won the national 200-yard indoor crown and that summer captured the 400-meter outdoor title. At the Olympic trials, Brisco-Hooks qualified to represent the United States in the individual 200- and 400-meter races and the 4×400-meter relay.

When the 1984 Olympics began Brisco-Hooks aimed to do what no athlete had ever done—win both the 200-meter and 400-meter races in the same Olympic games. Going into the competition she had two factors working in her favor: first, the games were being held in her home-town of Los Angeles; second, and most important, the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Olympics meant most of the world's best female best sprinters would be at home, rather than challenging their underdog American foes.

In the end, Brisco-Hooks left no doubt about who was the best sprinter in Los Angeles. She dominated her competition in both the 400- and 200-meter races. She dedicated the former victory to her slain brother Robert and the latter to the rest of her family. After Brisco-Hooks won the 400, Bobby Kersee eluded security and tackled her to offer his unique congratulations. The two rolled around on the Coliseum ground in one of the great moments of the Games. Brisco-Hooks capped her performance later in the meet by running a leg on the United States women's victorious 4×400-meter relay team.

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Famous Sports StarsTrack and FieldValerie Brisco-Hooks Biography - Brother's Death Shaped Her Life, Pregnancy Impeeds Performance, Chronology, An Unprecedented Olympic Achievement