Laura Angront-Hobbs Remembers 1984 Olympics
As Mrs. Agront-Hobbs was prepping herself for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, she had no idea that she was about to embark on a journey that would change her life forever. Mrs. Agront-Hobbs was a devoted basketball player while she was in high school, but when she left for college her athletic career led her in a completely new direction, and she became a high jumper. When her brother saw her godly jumping ability while she was playing basketball, he persuaded her to tryout for the high jumping event in the Puerto Rican Olympic Trials. “I really didn’t know how to jump, but I jumped 5’6″ during tryouts and broke the Puerto Rican record on one of my first tries at the event.” After breaking the record with no practice, Mrs. Agront-Hobbs was ready to see what she could do at the Olympics, competing against the world’s best athletes.
Mrs. Agront-Hobbs trained for three months before the start of 1984 Olympics. She didn’t even think the training was difficult. She said, “I trained harder in college than I did for the Olympics; working hard was easier when I was younger. Mrs. Agront-Hobbs was the top female high jumper in all of Puerto Rico, and when the time came for her to travel to Los Angeles for the Olympics, she was ecstatic to be the representative of her home country for the high jumping event. All 25 of her fellow Puerto Rican teammates were excited to finally meet her. They called her the “baby” because she was the youngest of the group. Mrs. Agront-Hobbs said, “Everyone wanted to meet me and talk to me because of how young I was.”
Her favorite moment of the Olympics was the opening ceremony. “It was an amazing experience to be with all the other athletes and to be watched by so many people. I cried a lot.” After an emotional night, Mrs. Agront-Hobbs got to enjoy the amazing and diverse Olympic village. She had the opportunity to meet other athletes from around the world, and she made many new friends.
When her event jumped into the spotlight, Mrs Agront-Hobbs was not nervous about being watched by a crowd filled with thousands of wild and patriotic fans. She said, “I was too naive. I thought it would be just like any other track meet.” Mrs. Agront-Hobbs finished with a very impressive ranking of 22nd out of 30 in the womens high jump with a 1.8 meter (almost 5’11”) jump.
The Olympics ended very emotionally for Mrs. Agront-Hobbs: “I cried a lot more in the closing ceremony than I did in the opening ceremony because I had to say goodbye to all my new friends.”
By David Martos, Staff Writer ’14