Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: IAAF article on top hurdler Sally Pearson

Monday, December 02, 2013

IAAF article on top hurdler Sally Pearson

Over the last week or so, I came across two items from the IAAF about the 2012 Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson from Australia.

One was this incredible photo....
In most video clips of an event, it's hard to fully appreciate just how fast the athletes are moving. Any photographs tend to concentrate on the person clearing the hurdle which doesn't really convey the speed involved. This photo shows Pearson in the 2012 Olympics and because of her speed, you can see just how far from the hurdle she has to take off to clear it.

This is another article from the IAAF which gives her perspective on her career to date...
Sally Pearson : What I know about men...Sally Pearson talks about the role of various men in her life.

My dad wasn't a part of my life and that's all I can say about him. I've met him a few times, but I was very young and I can't really remember him. All I've known is having a mum. My mum, Anne, worked full time when I was at school so I had to grow up quickly. I thank her for that because I'm quite independent. I was 17 when I got my first contract with Adidas and I said to her: "You can quit your second job now, Mum."

My sports teacher, Brett Green, noticed me when I was in year 4. He said I was the most balanced runner he had ever seen, and he asked Mum to send me to his high school when I was older. She kept her word and I went to Helensvale State High School. [Tennis champion] Sam Stosur and [long-distance runner] Michael Shelley went there, too.

I was pushed out of my comfort zone by Mr Green (I call him Mr Green or Greenie, never Brett!). That's important when you're a teenager – when you're going through the awkward years, when you're lost and you don't know what you want to do. All my friends were going out and I wanted to do that, too. But Mr Green believed I could become a really great athlete. He still coaches at my track and I see him every afternoon. He always congratulates me.

My hurdling ability was spotted by Peter Hannan. His wife, Sharon, was my coach and Peter helped me with many different events. He would explain how to get the best technique on high jump and long jump. I would get frustrated, but he was always very patient. Sharon wanted me to do heptathlon but Peter said, "She's not tall enough to do heptathlon." He realised that I was always going to be a good hurdler.

I was 16 when I first met my manager, Robert Joske. He called me and said, "Hello, I'm a sports manager." I didn't even know what a sports manager was. He took me on when no one was interested in me and he's slowly brought me up through the ranks.

I'm a shy person, but I'm not as nervous in front of big crowds because of my sports manager. He built up my confidence in dealing with people. All those years ago, he said, "Write down one paragraph each day – what you did, what you saw, what you felt – so that one day you can put them all into a book." I said, "Yeah, right, I'm never going to write a book." Now I wish I had written down those paragraphs.
When you're a teenager you have lots of flings. But when I met my husband, Kieran, I felt comfortable and happy. We were acquaintances at school but we got talking at a party in year 12. We found we had the same vision. He wanted his own business and his own house. I wanted that, too.
I'm very impatient, but Kieran is always there for me and always ready to listen to my rants. He's a very different person to me. He's calm and relaxed and patient. I like to work quickly with things, but he holds me back and says, "You don't have to do it right now." He takes the brunt of life and makes things easier for me.
After I won silver in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, we were able to move into our own house. That's how much the win changed our lives.
We married in April 2010, then I went away for three months. It was the longest time we had been apart, but Kieran couldn't come because he was opening his own plumbing business. It was really hard on us and we never want to do that again. I was earning enough to support us both so I said, "Why don't you travel with me and see the sights and support me in my races." Kieran is my biggest supporter. When I retire, it'll be his turn to support us.

I always found Usain Bolt fascinating. We're born a month apart and I've watched him race since he was young. I had always thought he was arrogant, a showman. But in 2011, I was Female Athlete of the Year and he was the Male Athlete of the Year for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and I got a chance to sit down and talk with him.
It changed my perspective of Usain. I had him completely wrong. I found out how passionate he is about the sport, how far he wants to go, and how much he's willing to do to achieve that. He inspired me to push harder and aim higher. He made me realise beating the world record is possible. He taught me that if you put the hard yards in and you want it, you can have it.


Gerard said...

Wonderful pic. hard to believe they start jumping from so far out !!

John Desmond said...

Someone reminded me about another great hurdling photo from the great Ed Moses