Nick realises Olympic dream
Last updated at 13:38, Tuesday, 03 July 2012
HEXHAM has a second world class athlete to shout on at the Olympics after runner Nick McCormick booked his place at London 2012.
The 30-year-old secured his place in the Games at the Aviva Olympic Trials, held in Birmingham, at the weekend and will join Tynedale rower Matt Wells at the London Games.
McCormick, representing Morpeth Harriers, claimed a silver medal in the 5,000m and that was enough to see him make it in the team alongside Mo Farah and the world’s best.
As soon as the team was decided on Sunday, McCormick and his GB colleagues were whisked off to a training camp in the Pyrenees mountains for high altitude training.
They will remain there until the Olympics opening ceremony, returning to the United Kingdom just once to compete at Crystal Palace.
Making the Olympics is something the athlete will always treasure, and his goal for the Games is to make the final.
His father Alan said: “Nick is absolutely over the moon. He has worked so hard and for so long for this.
“Now that he’s 30, he possibly thought the time had passed him by, but he was so determined to become an Olympian that nothing was going to deter him.
“When he started taking up running seriously, he said he wanted to be an Olympic athlete so it has been his career long goal.”
Going into the final on Sunday, McCormick knew he had to finish in the top two to guarantee his first Olympic appearance.
He had already achieved the A standard time of 13 minutes and 20 seconds when he finished two seconds under that in Huelva, Spain, but the pressure was still on to get a silver at least.
Although he finished behind Stockport’s Ross Millington, his second placed finish was enough to secure his place in the Olympic Stadium.
It has been a long road for the former Queen Elizabeth High School pupil who has battled through a string of injuries to achieve his ultimate goal of representing his country at the Olympics.
But he has remained injury free recently and the intense training programme he has stuck rigidly to has reaped huge rewards.
His father said: “Nick did an interview with TV saying ‘never give up, just keep going’ and that has been his motto for the past 10 years when he has been running.
“He has had horrendous injuries but persistence and hard work has got him to where he has always wanted to be.”
When McCormick lines up to race for Great Britain alongside the world elite, he can be sure to have the whole of Tynedale supporting him back home.
In the short space since his place was booked, the family have been overwhelmed with the support shown locally.
McCormick’s mother Mavis said: “I am very proud of Nick, but more pleased for him because I know he has worked incredibly hard, going out whatever the weather and run 100 miles plus a week.
“His facebook page is absolutely full of supportive messages which is lovely to see, and it is important to Nick to know he has the support of people.”
There was another Hexham athlete looking to secure an Olympic appearance at the trials, but sadly 21-year-old Andy Richardson missed out.
However, he did fantastically well to make the final of the 800m bearing in mind he is a novice compared to his rivals.
He took up running just three years ago but his progress in that short of space has been remarkable, and to be in with a shot of making the top two and getting to the Olympics shows he is on the right track.
Giving the black vest of Tynedale Harriers a national outing, he finished sixth in the showdown.
However, his performances have given him high hopes for the future and he is targeting the Rio 2016 – but first the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
He said: “It has been a bit of a whirlwind these past three years and now it is a race against time to gain experience because I used to be terrified in every single race.
“The Olympics Trials was an absolutely incredible experience, and I know that I am still a fair way off the qualifying times and I was up against some world class athletes.
“The trials were an inspiration really because I was racing against these top guys and they were in my position once.”
First published at 09:05, Monday, 02 July 2012
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk