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Mary Peters (Athlete)
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    (July 6, 1939- )
    Born in Halewood, England, United Kingdom
    Grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Pentathlete and shot putter
    Won a gold medal in pentathlon at the Summer Olympics in Munich (1972)
    At the Commonwealth Games, won two gold medals in pentathlon (1970,1974) and one gold medal in shot put (1970)
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year (1972)
    Named a Dame Commander of the British Empire (2000)
    She said about her early career, 'I'd always had the fear that if I was successful, people would be jealous and their attitude to me would change. I never felt I really gave 100%.'
    Because she did not have a car, she had to carry her shot put and starting blocks on two buses to reach the track at Queen's University.
    She said, 'Its really special to have a world record that will always stand.' (Her pentathlon record became permanent because in 1974 two events were added to the competition, creating the heptathlon.)
    In winning Olympic gold, she set personal bests in four of the five events and established a world record.
    After her victory, a death threat was phoned to the BBC: 'Mary Peters is a protestant and has won a medal for Britain. An attempt will be made on her life and it will be blamed on the IRA.'
    He response: 'Bollocks. I'm going straight to Belfast.'
    She turned down job offers from the US and Australia, saying 'I wouldn't have been happy. My life is the Northern Ireland people.'
    She was named Lord Lieutenant of the City of Belfast (2009).

Credit: C. Fishel

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