Artistic gymnastics He was 52 years old and had a stint in gymnastics
TheAmerican gymnastics in mourning. Diane Durham, the first African American national gymnastics champion and sports pioneer, She died after a short illness, confirmed by her husband, Tom Drouzal.
Durham died in Chicago Hospital at the age of 52 with his family. “He passed away peacefully,” Drouzal told ESPN. “She was the love of my life and everything I could ask for. She was such a lovely person as far from gymnastics as in sports.”
Durham, known for its blend of grace, art and strength, and co-worker Mary Lou Retton brought gymnastics into a new era.
Diane Durham was the last gymnast to beat Retton in public competition, in the run-up to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. But she was denied a spot on the team due to a host of injuries and political issues.
However, one of his accomplishments, winning the National Senior Championship in 1983, launched not only Durham but also his coaches, Bella and Martha Caroli, to national fame.
Durham told ESPN last summer, “People said, ‘You’re the first black national hero. You know that didn’t even cross my mind once.'” Do you know how many people have to tell me that? I couldn’t understand why it was such a huge deal. “
For Durham, this victory was a step on their way to the games. But when this path was later cut, Durham started working as a coach with the Carolees team in Houston and later moved to Chicago, She met Drauzal and became a nationwide gym owner, judge and coach.