George to compete in third Paralympic Games

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, or IUPUI, held the Paralympics track and field trials from June 28 to July 1, and Joshua George was one of 13 current, former or future Illini to make the team.

Fifty-four athletes were nominated for the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field team on July 1. The team, comprising 19 female and 35 male athletes, will represent the U.S. in the Paralympics in London from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9.

It’s George’s third time attending the Paralympics in his racing career. He attends races around the world and said traveling is his favorite part of racing.

“We’ll head over in the middle of August to get situated,” George said. “I am incredibly excited.”

George said he had always enjoyed sports and racing remains his favorite. George was also on the national basketball team. But when he had to decide whether he would be on the basketball team or racing team, he chose to join the track and field squad.

“I don’t know how long I will be racing,” George said. “I am just thinking up to London right now.”

In the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, George also competed in the 100 meter race and set a record at the Paralympics.

“It was amazing. I’m proud of the medal I won,” George said.

But this year in London, he said he would not race in the event. He will continue to race in the 400, 800, 1500 and the marathon.

Having already achieved international success, George feels confident and comfortable in his third Paralympic Games.

“Each one feels different. It’s interesting,” George said. “In 2004 Athens, it was kind of carefree. Beijing was a little trickier, as I established myself as a top racer; there was a lot more pressure. Coming to London, I feel experienced. I feel refreshed again. It’s like I’ve been there before, and I know what to expect. I don’t feel as pressured as when I was in Beijing.”

Graduates: Amanda McGrory, Jessica Galli, Christina Schwab, Joshua George, Ryan Chalmers, Aaron Pike and Anjali Forber-Pratt

Current students: Tatyana McFadden, Brian Siemann and Susannah Scaron

Future students: Amberlynn Weber and Raymond Martin

Source: http://www.facebook.com/illinoiswheelchairathletics