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Stroy remembers her time as a 15-year-old at ’68 Games
“I am so glad that now she’s running the 200 meters the way it should be run. She’s coming out of the blocks and coming off of the turn in front, instead of playing catch-up like she did her earlier years.”
Stroy-Harper has taken time off from coaching to travel the country with her husband, Daniel Harper, a retired Army officer, whose book “Life of a Solder,” was published in May 2011. Harper received a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and other decorations for his service in Vietnam.
After her travel schedule eases, Stroy-Harper plans to return to coaching and will reactivate the track club she first started with, Sports International, in September. She will work with another former Olympian, Hawaii native Leahseneth “Lacey” O’Neal.
O’Neal competed in the 80-meter hurdles in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and the 100 meter hurdles in the 1972 Games. Both former Olympians believe that track provides a perfect training ground for success in life.
“Track builds character and teaches people about hard work and being determined and not quitting,” Stroy-Harper said. “We want to teach young track and field athletes not just to be good athletes, but to be good all-around individuals.”
Stroy-Harper often is asked by young athletes what it takes to make it to the Olympics. She gladly passes down the same tips that were given to her long ago.
“You have to make your first step count,” Stroy-Harper said. “You have to blast off and run that first 20 yards, and then you’ll settle down. Don’t let nerves overtake you, because in track, or anything else, if you let your nerves get the better of you, you won’t succeed.”
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Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
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