FORMER South African ace athlete Christy Davids slipped quietly into Cape Town this week for a two-month holiday before returning to America in March for their athletic season.
Davids left South Africa in 1981 to attend college in the state of Oregon where he studied economics, financial advising and administration.
He is now a citizen of the United States and has an American wife.
Davids, who was out training at Wynberg Park this week, wants to keep a low-profile while in Cape Town.
He said: “I have no regrets about going abroad. I’m enjoying my athletics tremendously.
“I am also happily settled with my wife, Kristy, who also runs but not as seriously as I do.”
Before going to the United States, Davids was a star athlete with the South African Amateur Athletics Board (under Sacos) before moving to VOB of the South African Amateur Athletic Union where his junior board record for the 1500m of 3:54,3 still stands.
When Davids, 27, moved to the United States in 1981 he immediately made his mark in cross country races, winning the first seven events on the trot.
In 1982, Davids representing Idaho College, finished second in the United States Colleges cross country nationals.
It was a great achievement of only one year at the college, where his coach, Mike Bundy, labelled it as one of the finest achievements by a foreign athlete.
Davids competes all year round, with July to August being the high spots, when he concentrates on races of distances from 1 500m to 5 000m.
In 1982, Davids also set two Idaho College records in the 1 500m of 3:56,4 and 14:51,7 respectively.
After completing his studies last year, Davids now works as a financial adviser, while his athletics career is sponsored by international manufacturers Nike Sports.
Davids, who feels there are many athletes here who could make the grade overseas if given the opportunities to travel, does not intend conducting any coaching clinics while in South Africa.
He does a tremendous amount of coaching at junior level in the United States, and feels our youngsters have as much talent as those in America.
Davids advice to young athletes is:
“Train diligently. Most importantly, see that your training programme is the correct one for whichever distance you are best suited. “
Davids often meets another South African now living in the United States, Freddie Williams – but always off the race track.
They never had the pleasure of pitting their talents against each other, but do not rule out the possibility.
However, Davids did get the opportunity to run against last year’s 800m Olympic gold medallist Brazil Joachim Cruz. – Clement du Plessis. First published in 1985