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Summer gold medalist cheers on Kyle Carr

12:10 PM, Feb 21, 2014   |    comments
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  • Barbara Jones Slater made history in running shoes, not speed skates, during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. She was-and still is-the youngest female to win an Olympic gold medal in track & field. She was 15.
  • Barbara Jones Slater made history in running shoes, not speed skates, during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. She was-and still is-the youngest female to win an Olympic gold medal in track & field. She was 15.
  • Barbara Jones Slater made history in running shoes, not speed skates, during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. She was-and still is-the youngest female to win an Olympic gold medal in track & field. She was 15.
    

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- Two-time gold medalist Barbara Jones Slater is partial to the Summer Olympics, but she's intrigued by the short track speed skaters in Sochi.

"Only thing is, the relay's kinda confusing," she told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie. "It's not like our relay."

Jones Slater made history in running shoes, not speed skates, during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.

She was-and still is-the youngest female to win an Olympic gold medal in track & field. She was 15.

"Standing up on that podium, even when I hear the Star-Spangled Banner today, I get that thrill, that chill," she said.

She was part of the 4x100 meter relay team and went on win a second gold in the same event in Rome in 1960.

One of her teammates that year was Wilma Rudolph.

"Are your teammates like your family or even closer?" Leslie asked.

"You have to talk to each other and encourage each other and give each other compliments and make each other feel great about what we're about, because we're a team," Jones Slater said.

Leslie met Jones Slater on the track at Redan High School near the Olympic star's Stone Mountain home.

Now 76, this retired educator still carries and shares the Olympic spirit.

"Do your best. Don't settle for less. That's what an athlete is all about," she said. "Summer or winter, they have that same energy, and that's what I love about it."

Jones Slater also had encouraging words for Peachtree City's Kyle Carr, who will go for gold in the men's 5,000-meter short track speed skating relay on Friday.

"Don't ever settle for less. Do you best, because I know you will," she said. "I'm so excited for you, and I want you to bring that gold home."

COMPLETE COVERAGE | 2014 Sochi Olympics
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