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Short Stories - A Dream Denied


									                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                                               A Dream Denied
                                                              By Todd A. Smith

  “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun,” asked Langston
Hughes in his classic poem “A Dream Deferred.”

 For many African Americans in sports before the Civil Rights Movement, the dream of competing in
the largest arena was permanently deferred by America’s version of apartheid. Athletes like Josh
Gibson and James “Cool Papa” Bell and countless other African Americans in sports were outlawed
from playing against the best competition simply because of the color of their skin.

However, for African Americans in sports such as gymnast Ron Galimore, track and field star Gwen
Gardner and future basketball legend Isiah Thomas, the United States’ boycott of the 1980 Summer
Olympics in Moscow became a crushed dream, especially for Galimore.

 “My goal was to make an Olympic team, win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, and then maybe do
some color commentary afterwards, perhaps make all kinds of money because it was so new and
unique,” said Galimore. “And all of a sudden, I hit a brick wall. I didn’t know what to do. I woke up and I
didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.”

 Ironically, Galimore’s early life started off with much promise as well and led to tragedy. His father
Willie Galimore was also one of many successful African Americans in sports, whose career did not
reach its full potential because of uncontrollable circumstances. The senior Galimore was starting his
eighth season as a running back for the Chicago Bears when his life was cut short in a car accident
when his son was just five years old.

 Nevertheless, Galimore chose to showcase his athletic prowess in gymnastics instead of on the

 According to the official website of Iowa State University athletics, Galimore transferred to the Ames,
Iowa campus from Louisiana State University in 1979, bringing with him a pair of NCAA titles.

 Leading Iowa State to a second-place finish in 1981, Galimore won two individual NCAA titles on the
vault. He also won nine All-America honors, placing in the all-around, vault and floor exercise twice at
the NCAA championships, becoming one of the best African Americans in sports, especially on the

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collegiate level.

 Despite his accolades on the collegiate level, Galimore wanted to prove himself against the best
gymnasts in the world but had his dream stolen, despite being the first African American to qualify for
the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team. Because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, former president
Jimmy Carter elected to boycott the entire competition in Moscow, leaving many African Americans in
sports unable to compete for their country.

 “What it could’ve meant for me financially to be the first African American gymnast to win a gold medal
could’ve been huge if I had any personality to go along with it,” Galimore said. “And so, I thought about
those things selfishly…I thought it was so bad to think of those things, but I felt it. I think I ran the
gamut on all of that. Today it is different. I don’t feel that way.”

 Galimore eventually retired from gymnastics and returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach and
later worked as national men’s program director for the U.S. Gymnastics Federation.

 The story of Galimore, and so many other forgotten athletes, not just African Americans in sports, is
featured in the new book BOYCOTT: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by identical
twins Jerry and Tom Caraccioli.

Todd A. Smith is the publisher of, an online magazine dedicated to issues
affecting African American men. The website tackles such topics as social and political issues, health,
relationships, business, sports and entertainment.

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                               What You Need to Do If You Have Been Denied Credit
                                                           By Keith Davies

What You Need to Do If You Have Been Denied Credit

There is no doubt that being denied credit can be a traumatic experience. Credit denials can range
from the merely annoying, like not getting that shiny new credit card, to the truly devastating, like being
denied a mortgage on the home of your dreams. No matter what the reason for your being denied the
credit you need, there are steps you should take to make sure it does not happen again.

The good news is that many credit denials are the result of errors in the reports held by the three major
credit-reporting agencies. In the United States, the big three are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
The information these three influential companies hold about you can determine whether you get that
mortgage or consumer loan, and if you do get it, what your interest rate will be. Unfortunately for
consumers everywhere, the information reported by these agencies is not always 100% accurate. As
a matter of fact, a recent survey by a consumer rights organization revealed that up to half of all credit
reports contain at least one inaccuracy.

If you have been denied credit, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. By all means take
advantage of this offer to obtain a copy of your credit report. The denial letter will usually contain
instructions on how you can obtain a copy of the credit report that was used in the decision to deny you

Once you have received a copy of your credit report, examine it carefully for errors. If you see
anything that does not look right, report it immediately to the credit-reporting agency. The agency is
required by law to verify any information questioned by the consumer. After you have reported any
errors you find to the credit-reporting agency, be sure to follow up. Order an additional copy of your
credit report in a month or two to make sure that the credit report has been corrected. If it has not, be
sure to notify the reporting agency immediately.

It is also important to follow up with the company that denied you credit. Contact the bank or credit
card company as soon as possible and let them know that you found an error on your credit report.
Request that they reconsider your credit application in light of the new report. This is an important step
in cleaning up your credit and making sure you will not be denied again.

Keith is a web site designer that builds useful content into sites

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                                             Presented by Daniel Toriola

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What You Need to Do If You Have Been Denied Credit
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