By Iva Wharton
Winston George is the first track and field athlete locally to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. “At first I was a bit disappointed but then I got the news that I did qualify I was overwhelmed with joy, I started to shout and scream,” George told Stabroek Sport in an exclusive interview.
The 24-year-old said that this is would be the first time he is competing at the Olympics and according to him it was his dream when he took up the sport.
“I watched the movie Cool Runnings and was inspired by the guys who made it to the Olympics and their home people were very anxious to see them there. So I said one day I could be like them and make my people proud. You know I could get them watching the TV and saying that is our boy,” he added.
The Guyana Police Force athlete said another of his dream was to become a member of the force.
“When I went the first time they told me that I was too short. I left the country and upon my return I applied again and got through.” George said he has no problems with training but said he was out of training because of an injury coupled with the general elections, but said he will be back on the field soon.
He said he has received the full support of his colleagues in the force.
“They are cheering me on telling me to work hard, ensure that I train and go and make them proud. The officers are looking out for me and ensuring that I get time to train.”
George represented Guyana at the Alba Games in Venezuela earlier this year where he learnt that he had missed qualifying for the Olympic games by a slim margin.
However, after a review, he was told that he had qualified.
He will be competing in the 400 metre event.
President of the Athletics Association of Guyana, Superintendent Colin Boyce said that he was pleased that George will be competing at the Olympics.
He also said that there are three other athletes are expected to be on the team; Aliann Pompey, Marian Burnette and Adam Harris.
According to Boyce other local athletes can join the team, but he said that was dependent on their performances.