Four women representing four countries in four different events are competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London for a chance to bring home a gold medal. The women are all former or current University of Arkansas track athletes.
”To lay everything on the line on one given day is a true challenge of mental and physical focus,” said University of Arkansas Head Track and Cross Country Coach, Lance Harter.
Current Razorback athletes, Regina George and Ivanique Kemp will compete in the summer Olympic Games for the first time.
George will run the 400m for Nigeria. Kemp will represent the Bahamas in the 100m hurdles.
”Ivanique Kemp is a young lady from the Bahamas, she has drastically improved her performances this year in the hurdles,” Harter said. “She’ll represent the Bahamas. She’s a young lady that I think has even more potential to improve on her personal best and hopefully that will occur in London.”
This summer is pole-vaulter Tina Sutej's first Olympic appearance.
She graduated from the University of Arkansas in May, 2012 and represents Slovenia.
Coach Harter calls her a proven international competitor.
”Tina Sutej is the consummate athlete,” he said. “She’s from Slovenia, the small country just outside of Venice and she’s a young lady that came here somewhat on a dare by our vault coach because she had been hurt for so long.”
Sutej has stayed healthy and Harter is confident she will compete well.
This will be gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown`s fourth year to compete in the Olympics and her coach said this could be another gold medal year for the track star.
”Veronica is truly special,” Harter said. “Anytime you can be a gold medalist, and you’ve got to put that into perspective, that’s the idea that when you look at the earth, there are a lot of inhabitants, the idea that on one given day she is the best athlete in her event in the entire earth.”
All four women are representing different countries; none of the women are competing on team USA.
”Regina George is a junior; she’s 21 years old and comes from Chicago,” said Harter. “We didn’t know that she had Nigeria as an option but her dad is Nigerian and her mother is actually Venezuelan and Venezuela actually asked her to go to the Olympic Games for Venezuela.”
The 2012 Summer Olympics run Friday, July 27th through August 12th.