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Zola Budd's Biography

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Zola Budd was born on May 26, 1966 in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.

She famously ran barefoot. As a teenager, Zola Budd was embroiled in controversy when against the backdrop of sanctions and boycotts of South Africa, The Daily Mail brought her to the UK where she gained British citizenship.

Zola Budd's all-time low came when she collided with Mary Decker who was favourite to win the Los Angeles Olympics 3,000 metre final. As a result, Decker did not finish and Budd was jeered for the rest of the race. She ended up 7th.

The Observer rated the Mary Decker incident as the second worst mishap in sport.

In 1985, Zola Budd broke the world record for the 3000 metres.

Zola Budd returned to South Africa in 1988.

In September 2006, South Africa's media carried regular coverage of the state of Zola Budd-Pieterse (her married name) and her husband Mike Pieterse's marriage after he had been linked with Agatha "Pinkie" Pelser, a semi-finalist in the Mrs United Nations South Africa.

In 2016, Budd and Decker appeared in a documentary film The Fall.

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