Bill Kauffman Blog for Aug. 8 - French Walks

Aug. 11, 2008, 6:22 a.m. (ET)

French Walks
Sometimes, history gets a chance to correct itself. Thankfully, today was one of those opportunities in life.

Diane French, the technical coordinator for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Indoor Volleyball Team, achieved a dream of a lifetime in 1980. However, the dream turned into a nightmare for her and hundreds of other world-class athletes in the United States.

Diane was tabbed to the 1980 U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team, but the squad could not compete due to USA’s boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow. After missing qualification for the 1972 Munich Games and 1976 Montreal Games, the team worked hard to re-commit and qualify for the Olympics. Women’s volleyball was among a short-list of teams capable of winning the gold medal for the quadrennial.

She missed out competing in the Olympics and the pageantry surrounding the grandest sporting event the world has to offer.

Well, after 28 years, Diane was able to taste the Olympics first-hand today. Although it was unknown until a couple days ago if she could participate in the Opening Ceremonies’ parade of nations, Diane was able to take a spot in the volleyball contingency. She had the opportunity to meet the former President Bush and the current President Bush prior to entering the arena. As the 140th nation to be announced in the rotation into the arena, Diane finally had the opportunity to officially represent the United States in the Olympics and the Opening Ceremonies.