The Little Girl Whos Biggest Goal Was To Win Olympic Gold | Paula Radcliffe

| 09/08/2012 | 0 Comments More

Paula Radcliffe has won everything there is to win when it comes to Marathon Running, but with London 2012 now nearly over and Paula having to pull out of the Womens Marathon, has the dream gone?

Most of us know Paula as the world record holder of the womens marathon, an athlete that has done it all when it comes to winning marathons on the world stage bar one! The Olympic Gold Medal

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2002

This year was probably going to be her last chance at that elusive Gold, but just short of the start of the marathon day at London 2012, Paula announced she had to pull out due to being declared unfit after a test run suffering from osteoarthritis.

Paula now 38yrs old Im sure was looking at this as her last chance at Olympic Gold with the Rio Olympics 4yrs away would make her 42yrs old.

Paula Radcliffe has to be one of my top inspirational athletes of all time, Ive had the privilege of meeting Paula a couple of times, she made her mark as the greatest female marathon athlete of all time in my books and possibly the greatest marathon athelte of all time.

But many wont remember the little girl who only dreamed of Olympic Gold, back as a teenager, Paula had her break when she won the 1992 World Junior Cross Country Championships in Boston, dispite battling anaemia.

Winning the 1992 World Junior Cross Country Championships

That year she went on to Loughborough University to study Modern European Studies where she came away with a first class degree.  Within 6years of 1992, Paula made a name for herself on the world stage of athletics and becoming a global superstar.

Paulas marathon debut was to be the 2002 London Marathon where she clocked a European Record in a time of 2hrs 18mins 56secs, just 9seconds outside the world record at the time.

Paula also won the Commonwealth Games 500m Gold medal and the European Championships in Munich Gold for the 10,000m.  Later that year she won the Chicargo Marathon recording a world record time of 2hr 17mins 18secs.  Paula also won the BBC Sports Peronality of the Year and picked up an MBE.

In 2003 the records kept on coming, with Paula breaking the 10,000m and her marathon world record in a stagering 2hrs 15mins 25secs.  She also broke the 5,000m road race world record that year.

Tears at the 2004 Athens Games

For years she has been royalty of athletics and the goddess of the marathon distance, a global superstar and the one to beat at the 26.2mile distance.  But the Olympic Gold dream has slipped away again.  In the 2004 Athens Games Paula was set to win and favourite in the build up but it wasnt to be when Paula had to pull out to the side of the road and in the 2008 Beijing Games Paula came in a disapointing 23rd position, after keeping pace with the leaders for 19 miles, she was forced to drop back and then stop.

After briefly stretching, she soldiered on but only to struggle to the finish   inside the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

It was less than three months prior that Paula was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the left femur and despite frantic months spent training on a treadmill and in the pool, she confessed that she had only run on six or seven occasions in the build up to these Olympics.

Injury has done it again to Paula having to pull out shortly before the London 2012 Womens Marathon.

No one has deserved an Olympic Gold more than Paula, and with the this being probably her last chance, it looks like that little girls dream will have to settle for being the greatest female marathon athlete of all time that never got Olympic Gold.

By Mike Buss.

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Category: BLOG, Olympics

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