Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's a bronze

It's been about a month since the World Youth Day festivities came to a close, and since that time I've been taking a hiatus from writing. Sometimes you need a shove to get back to the routines, and what better prodding than a bronze medal in the Olympics to get the mo-jo flowing?

Permit me to explain ...

More than ten years ago, my cousin Priscilla began participating in track and field meets at her high school in Whitby (Ontario, Canada). At the time, she wasn't sure whether she really could run hurdles, but with a bit of cajoling, she tried it and has never looked back.

Family and friends can tell you that she has developed quite a passion for hurdles. We all know her as 'the track star'. From the very humblest of beginnings - she ran her first track meet in regular tennis shoes because she didn't own cleats - she's continued to move up the proverbial ladder.

In 2004, she qualified to represent Canada at the Olympic Games held in Athens. Even though she didn't make it past the heats at the time, the experience was still a most invaluable one for her. Since that time, she's continued the hard work and this year she qualified to join the Canadian Olympic team in Beijing.

For years now, she's been the underdog, relatively unknown on the international stage, but the events of the past few days have changed all that in a heartbeat. On Sunday evening (7:00 pm Beijing time) she ran in Heat 2 of the qualifying rounds for the 100 m hurdles, and placed second behind Vonnette Dixon of Jamaica in a time of 12.75 seconds. This guaranteed her a spot in the semi-finals which were run on Monday evening.

In the first of two semi-final rounds, she placed third behind Lolo Jones of the USA and Delloreen Ennis-London of Jamaica in a time of 12.68 and therefore qualified to run in the finals which were held on Tuesday evening.

While her husband and coach watched from an off-track location within the Bird's Nest Stadium, family and friends watched the race unfold back home. Priscilla had told everyone that she was ready to shine, but no one was more elated than she herself to find that after a photo finish and almost five minutes of deliberations about the results, she had placed third and earned the 13th medal for Canada at the Beijing Olympics.

In 12.64 seconds, Priscilla went from a relative unknown to a national track star. Canada has not won a medal on the track since 1996 and has never won a medal in women's 100 m hurdles. Back home, no one was more proud of Priscilla than her parents and family who watched from their Whitby home as the race unfolded.

On the podium, after receiving her bronze medal, Priscilla jumped for joy ... WAY TO GO. Congratulations Priscilla.


Anonymous said...

Isn't this wonderful! Congratulations to your cousin for her win.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. She deserves some publicity after being in the shadows for so long and thanks to the great one above for her success and uneventful races.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is exciting! Congratulations to Priscilla.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Priscilla!!! All your hard work and determination brought you to where you are today. Your family is so proud of you!!! And so is the rest of Canada!!!