2012 - Olympic Games Preview

Unfortunately, I (Jeff Salvage) will not be at the Olympic Games. So sadly there will be no photo story. Instead, we have Tim Seaman, coach of four Olympic Race Walkers from three countries giving us a preview and hopefully a story after the races.

London 2012 is finally here.  All of you race walking fans out there should be thrilled.  No longer are the race walkers the elders of the team (US). We have the youngest member of the entire Olympic Track and Field team, in Trevor Barron, who will be competing on Saturday August 4th. We also have 26 year old Maria Michta, who is almost 20 years younger than our race walkers of the previous two Olympics in the 20km walk, Teresa Vail and Joanne Dow. Maria will compete a week later than Trevor on Saturday August 11th and will be joined by her TEAMmates (TEAM stands for Tim's Elite Athlete Machine) Rachel Seaman of Canada and Sabine Krantz of Germany. All four of the athletes are being coached by Tim Seaman.

Not to be forgotten is our grey haired Anderson Cooper look-a-like, John Nunn  John might look older than his 33 years, but he has big aspirations for a top-15 finish.

With Trevor being so young, America has high hopes for his future, but as Coach Tim Seaman says, "let's not look past London."  Trevor will toe the line and make his way past Buckingham Palace against 60 of the toughest 20km walkers in the world. Trevor is ready for the challenge though, because according to Coach Tim, "he (Trevor) has had the best and strongest training of his career.  If the weather and course permit, he is ready for a PR."

The course though, will not be easy.  It is uphill at both ends but is flat around the middle where the athletes will have to go around a big traffic circle.  It doesn't look that bad going up, but on the way down, you will be able to see just how much elevation gain is there. Trevor is very strong and the course is much easier than the one he trained at in Colorado before the fires forced him to leave for San Diego.

Trevor's race will be the first on the course, so John and the women will have the benefit of having watched Trevor compete already.

Since Coach Tim doesn't like to make predictions, he just stated that "Trevor is in very good shape and I expect and plan for major things to happen."

Next up for the US will be John Nunn. John will be competing in his first international 50km. No other 50km in recent memory has been so stacked with the depth that the athletes have brought to London.  The 50km boosts the largest number of competitors of the three race walking events.

This is John's 2nd Olympics. His aggressive style will make for an interesting race. The 50k is a long way to go, but John showed great courage and resolve at the trials. Hopefully, months of focused training on the 50K will lead to a PR performance.

Finally, at 5pm London time, the women will make their way around The Mall and past Buckingham Palace.  According to Coach Tim "I have never seen these three athletes this strong before, but we can't make time predictions with the weather and course.  I can just say that they will be ready to fight in their respective groups."

Americans and Canadians alike are very much looking forward to see the ladies stroll around in London.  This is the first time a Canadian woman has qualified for the Olympics since 2000, and Maria could be our youngest female race walker we have ever sent to the Olympics.  

Please go to www.nbcolympics.com to find you local listings of when the race walk events will be on in your area.  Trevor's race will not be shown live, but the other 2 races will be.