Friday, March 14, 2008

Flagstaff on Olympians' radar screen

It is an exciting date (08/08/'08) for spectators across the United States and the world. For the athletes it is the benchmark of years of hard work and determination. Some of the finest athletes in the world are training in Flagstaff for the chance to be in Beijing on that date. They are using the facilities at the Center for High Altitude Training at NAU.

Assistant director Sean Anthony said the excitement to work with these world-class athletes should extend beyond the center to Flagstaff itself.
"I think it's exciting for the community too, because once we get closer to the Beijing Games we're going to publish a list of all the athletes that trained through the training center in preparation for the Olympic games," he said. "So that way members of the community can look at the names and say, 'Wow that guy trained in Flagstaff,' or, 'I remember seeing that guy at the pool,' or, whatever the case may be."

"I helped that athlete recover in their training to get to Beijing!"

Some of the athletes training at the center now or in the next few weeks include Fasil Bizuneh, Peter Gilmore and Chris Lundy in the marathon, Aaron Aguayo in the 3,000 meters and steeplechase, Renee Metivier Baillie in the 5,000, Abdi Abdirahman in the 10,000, Anthony Famiglietti in the 5k, 10k and steeplechase, and ex-NAU standout Lopez Lomong in the 800 and 1,500.

"So right now we have a 32-person delegation from the German Athletic Federation, a 10-person delegation from Triathlon Canada, five Japanese swim clubs and roughly 20 U.S. distance runners trying to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team," he said. "So that's a lot of activity to have at once."

Triathlon Canada
Simon Whitfield- Former Olympic champion (Gold Metal in 2000 Games), Whitfield continues his streak of at least 1 Gold medal in every race season dating back to his Gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He has dual Canadian and Australian citizenship Kyle Jones- Jones had 3 top-15 World Cup results in 2006 with some of the strongest fields on the World Cup Circuit (14th in Mazatlan, 13th in Edmonton & 7th in Corner Brook). Jones finished the year ranked #49 - the second best among the Canadian men in 2007.

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