SEOUL, South Korea — Diane Dixon celebrated her 24th birthday in her mother's apartment this week--10,000 miles from home.
Dixon, who lives with her mother in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, traveled to Seoul as a 400-meter runner on the U.S. Olympic track and field team.
Her mother, Beverly Dixon, is staying in the Olympic Family Village as part of the "Send the Families" program sponsored by a wine cooler.
Diane's impromptu birthday party took place in the new four-bedroom apartment Mrs. Dixon shared with several other family members of American Olympians competing in the Seoul Games.
In all, Send The Families brought some 550 Americans to watch family members vie for medals and to share the Olympic experience. They include fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives, as well as mothers of U.S. Olympians.
All have been provided with free transportation, accomodation in Seoul and Olympic tickets.
Bart Gallagher is the brother of Kim Gallagher, an 800 and 1,500-meter runner. Bart, a freelance writer in Los Angeles, used to coach Kim when they were teen-agers in Ambler, Pa.
"My mom and dad voted Bart to be the one to come here," said Kim Gallagher. "That's because my running has been so important to him."
For Delisa Walton-Floyd of Houston, another U.S. 800-meter runner, choosing who would accompany her required no vote.
"Delisa and I made a deal," explained husband Stanley Floyd, himself a world-class sprinter. "If I made the team and she didn't, she was going to go as the guest, and vice versa. She made the team, and I didn't--but I'm here anyway."
Robert Cottingham, Sr., of Orange, N.J., went Korea before--as a U.S. serviceman duing the Korean War. He returned on a happier mission. son, Robert, Jr., is one of the top U.S. fencers. Bob's speciality is the saber, in which he won the 1988 NCAA championship.