More of Darlene Hill’s story

Mt. Laurel, N.J.’s Darlene Hill possibly solidified her status as an Olympic team contender with gold on the floor exercise at the Pacific Rim Championships two weeks ago.

The South Jersey Courier Post, which ran an initial article on Hill back in October, figured her win merited another one. It’s here that we actually learn a little more about her.

1996 Olympic Champion Lilia PodkopayevaShe’s got a terrific story, and this one undoubtedly won’t be the last done on her.

Hill aggravated a shoulder injury during training and rolled her ankle the first day she got to San Jose, Calif., where the three-day [Pacific Rim] competition was held. She did not compete on the uneven bars, another strength area, in order to rest her shoulder. But her stellar performances on floor and vault contributed to the team gold. All told, the U.S. men and women collected 15 gold, five silver and four bronze for a total of 24 medals.

“The competition was pretty much me having to prove to the world that I am ready for the Olympic team,” said Hill, a 2007 Lenape High School graduate who attends Burlington County College. “I felt honored being on that team and the crowd was behind me for the first time. It was a lot of fun.”

Soft-spoken and stoic, Hill didn’t discuss the mental burden she was carrying during the competition. Her grandmother, Eloise Dixon, who had raised her and supported her Olympic dream, had died just three weeks earlier.

“She was devastated,” [coach Kim] Bonus said. “It was really rough. But what a victory to show herself what she can do even in the worst of times. I always knew she could do this. I had complete faith in her.”

Shades of Lilia Podkopayeva, yes?

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4 Responses to “More of Darlene Hill’s story”

  1. Amanda Says:

    How sad. I saw a news interview last fall of Darlene and her grandma. Her grandma seemed like the sweetest lady ever, the one everyone wanted for a grandma.

  2. Hatsumomo Says:

    Aw, how sad for Darlene, especially since it was her grandmother who raised her.

  3. I. Dunn Says:

    Congratulations Darlene. Don”t know if you every read this stuff. I have never commented on a blog before. but you are golden. I saw on TV today – Pacific Rim. So proud and strong yet you appear approachable and kind. You are a treasure to your grandmother’s love. God Bless. Stay strong.

  4. Mo Mitchell Says:

    I am very saddend to hear of her loss. I know how important her Grand mother was to her. I hope she can continue to be strong and stay steadfast to her olympic goals.

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