David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H


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David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby Charley Shaffer » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:35 pm

Mike Rowbottom's article 22 August at
http://www.insidethegames.biz/blogs/1015645-mike-rowbottom-david-oliver-a-high-hurdler-heading-back-in-the-right-direction
stated ". . . his mother, the former 400m hurdler Brenda Chambers, who earned the right to compete in that very same stadium 33 years earlier but was unable to do so because of the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics."

First off, there was no w400H in the 1980 Olympic Games--its debut was in 1984 at Los Angeles. Second, I could find no Brenda Chambers among the athletes competing at the 1980 USOT in Hymans' USOT history book, nor in TAC's American Athletics Annual 1980, nor in the 1980 USOT Media Guide.

Is this another case of someone claiming they were "boycotted out of Moscow '80," except for not competing at the trials, and there not being any such Olympic event at the time, similar to Jane Surdyka, the witness in the Zimmerman trial?
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby user4 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:53 pm

99% of the readers of such articles and all of the writers could not care less about the facts , they are trying to provide an emotion. In that regard the article succeeds marvelously.
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby cladthin » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:00 pm

There were apparently some meets where 400mH were being done as demo events for women though in the wiki entry I found there was a world championship that year-1980- in Sittard, Netherlands for both the women's 400mH (1st, 2nd and 3rd for EG women) and the 3k. As you say the 400mH was not even in the Oly. program for women that early.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/400_metres_hurdles
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby Charley Shaffer » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:22 pm

cladthin wrote:There were apparently some meets where 400mH were being done as demo events for women . . .

Yes, and there are American Records or Bests from as early as 1972. It is also possible that an exhibition event was held during the 1980 USOT, although I do not recall, even though I was there. But still, I don't see how David's mother was kept away from Moscow '80 because of the boycott--if she was, so was I!
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby cladthin » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:39 pm

Charley Shaffer wrote:
cladthin wrote:There were apparently some meets where 400mH were being done as demo events for women . . .

Yes, and there are American Records or Bests from as early as 1972. It is also possible that an exhibition event was held during the 1980 USOT, although I do not recall, even though I was there. But still, I don't see how David's mother was kept away from Moscow '80 because of the boycott--if she was, so was I!


I could find no record of the event even being contested at the 1980 trials-I also looked, as I think you indicated you did, at the USATF/TAC write-up on their site and there is no mention of a women's 400mH event there. Once again, a reporter did not perform his due diligence. While the poster above is right that most readers or writers would not care if the story is accurate or not, it matters to us.

A bit off topic but something as simple as a NFL or CFB announcer identifying some player as a current or former world class track and field athlete always catches my attention.
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby Charley Shaffer » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:30 pm

user4 wrote:99% of the readers of such articles and all of the writers could not care less about the facts , they are trying to provide an emotion. In that regard the article succeeds marvelously.

Sad but true, even though the writer of the cited article is said to be "one of Britain's most talented sportswriters."

I think he might have done his research on this item on Wikipedia--it had the same claim about Oliver's mother. I have since edited it out.
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby bambam » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:30 pm

We get this all the time in obituaries of athletes - we call them Triple O's - obituary-only-Olympians.
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby LopenUupunut » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:32 pm

rhymans, in his History of the Olympic Trials, does say that...
rhymans wrote:The womens’ events were unchanged in 1980, but certain unofficial events were added - the 5000/10000/400h. The hurdles event was the selection event for the
first world championships (Sittard - August 14-16)
So I suppose Chambers could have competed in that, though since she didn't represent USA in Sittard she probably finished outside the top 3. (And here is an old article claiming just that - she competed but didn't make the top three. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's true.)

(Edit: on a further note, rhymans's History only lists the top 2 for the 400h and the 5000, giving the inaccurate impression that USA only sent 2 entrants per event to Sittard; Chambers is not mentioned. This article lists all finalists in the 1980 w400h and Chambers wasn't one of them. Still, at least there was a 1980 w400h for her to compete in... perhaps she went out in the heats.)

(Further edit: Chambers was there! This article lists her as placing 4th in heat 1 and going out as the leading non-qualifier. So there was at least something to this.)
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Re: David Oliver's Mother - Brenda Chambers, 400H

Postby Charley Shaffer » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:09 am

Thanks, LopenUupunut, for digging up those old R-G articles. So she was at the 1980 Eugene USOT, finishing out of the top 3 in an event not then contested at the Games. That still doesn't qualify her to claim that she was boycotted out of Moscow. The list of people claiming to be 1980 boycott victims seems to be approaching those who claim they were at Woodstock. :lol:

Chambers was ranked by T&FN as No. 6 US in 1980, the only year she was ranked US Top Ten.
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