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Sep 13, 2020

Did you know that women weren't allowed to compete in the 1500m in the Olympics until 1972 in Munich or in the 10,000m until 1988 in Seoul? As a pioneer for women in track and field, Francie Larrieu Smith competed in both of those events. All-in-all, she made 5 Olympic teams in three different distances including the marathon in 1992.

In this conversation with Kara and Shanna (and a special guest co-host), Francie talks about growing up as one of nine children where she aspired to be an Olympian from a very early age in spite of not having access to sports as a young girl in school. She made her first Olympic team at the age of 19, and she shares how she struggled at those games due to the emotions from the terrorist attack at the Olympic village in Munich. Francie discusses racing in the first Olympic 10,000m in 1988, and she gets emotional talking about what it was like to carry the flag at the opening ceremony for the US at the 1992 games in Barcelona. 

Francie also provides us with insight into the early days of drug testing and how she approached competing against dirty athletes during her 20+ year career. As an athlete and later as a coach, Francie has dedicated her life to the sport of track and field. She's a role model for any athlete to emulate, male or female, and it's a great honor to have her on the podcast.