My Olympic sacrifice

2012-07-21 14:37

It’s true that Olympic dreams are made from sacrifice, as Daniel Mothowagae discovered after speaking to a few members of Team SA

Asenathi Jim (20) & Roger Hudson (34)

Event: Sailing (470)

Profession: Professional sailors

“We started our partnership 18 months ago. Sailing is a full-time sport and when we started preparations in January last year Asenathi had to leave high school for us to get to London,” said Hudson, adding that 15 months were for the qualifiers.

Added Asenathi: “We had been on tour overseas most of the time and we only got back last week after many months away from home.”

Said Hudson: “In over 18 months we sailed in 20 events in 550 days. Of those days, we spent close to 400 days in competition.”


Bridgitte Hartley

Age: 29

Event: Canoeing (K1 500m)

Profession: Professional canoeist

“I started preparing for the London Olympics in the season shortly after the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

I had virtually put my normal life on hold for the last few years as I had been putting all my energy into training and racing consistently.

I spent many months in Europe training. I have done cross training in the European snow, which has been fun as well as good training.

I hope that my race plan will come together in London.”


Tiffany Kruger

Age: 29

Event: Canoeing (K1 200m)

Profession: Former school teacher “I had to give up my job as a teacher.

Fortunately, I have had a wonderful support system of friends, family, sponsors and my coach (Attila Adrovicz) who were all involved in one way or another to help me reach my goal.

Canoeing has been a part of my life and the outcome of qualifying makes it rewarding.

Given that I am relatively young in sprint kayaking in terms of age and experience, I want to take as much away from London – I have set my sights on Rio 2016 to bring back home a medal.”

Coolboy Ngamole

Age: 35

Event: Marathon

Profession: Assistant ­on-setter at the Goldfield Mines in Carletonville, Western Gauten “I took a four-month unpaid leave.

I have never really enjoyed quality time with my fiance in the last few months.

But she has been supportive as she would sometime brave the icy morning conditions just to watch me going through my training drills.

My preparations were more to correct what I was not doing right in the last two kilometre of my races especially my qualifying marathon that I could have easily wrapped up in 2:07.

I expect a tactical race in London and I am aiming for a new personal best of 2:07 or 2:08, which should put me in a good position to challenge for a medal.”

Jean Greeff

Age: 22

Event: Weightlifting (94kg)

Profession: Full-time weightlifter

“I am originally from Germiston (Ekurhuleni) but I have relocated three times in the last six years just to be nearer to the best coaches in the sport.

I was based in Port Elizabeth in 2006 and came back to Gauteng three years later.

Then in 2009 I went to Cape Town, which is my current base where I am trained by coach Aveenash Pandoo.

I want to follow the legacy of my grandfather (Louis Greeff) who was a top South African weightlifter.

He won silver and bronze medals at the 1954 and 1958 Commonwealth Games, respectively.

My goal in London is to show people that one can their achieve their dreams.”


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