Eighties long-distance runner Zola Budd — who famously collided with Mary Decker at the 1984 Olympics — is coming out with a memoir that promises to lift the lid on shocking allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and coverups in the world of track and field.
South Africa-born Budd, now 54, shot to fame in 1984 at 17 when she broke the world record for the 5,000-meter. At the time, South Africa was excluded from international athletics because of apartheid, and she controversially was granted British citizenship so she could compete in the LA Olympics that same year. In the 3,000-meter there, she collided with American champion Decker, who fell and left the race. World Athletics found Budd was not responsible, but she was vilified in the media and received death threats.
She and her family moved to the US in 2008 after her husband, Mike Pieterse, had an alleged affair with a former beauty queen. Budd continued to compete in the US and coached young athletes.
Now, her memoir, “Everyone Knows My Name,” is being shopped to major publishers and film-production companies by the Lawrence Jordan Literary Agency in New York.
Co-author Kyle Keiderling tells Page Six, “The book is the first memoir by Budd where she shares her traumatic experiences … including the memorable collision … and how it shaped her response when she sought action … when alerted to improper behavior by a male track coach … and was told to ‘shut up.’ The memoir will, no doubt, lead to a Penn State-, Michigan-type scandal when published.”
He continued, “She contacted me after her frustrating experience with … officials who failed to take any action when she followed protocol to report her findings.”
He added, “In my opinion, no female athlete at that age has ever been forced to endure what she faced … She is a remarkable woman who managed to survive what would have destroyed most others.”
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