Kerri Morgan, perhaps St. Louis’ best-known quadriplegic athlete, has her first Paralympic track & field race tonight at 10:12 p.m. Central Time (that’s 11:12 a.m. tomorrow morning in Beijing). (Real-time viewing seems impossible, but you could try logging onto paralympic.org tonight.
A blog hosted by the NY Times seems to be posting lots of post-raceYou-Tube videos.)
The 34-year-old Morgan, featured in the January, 2007, RFT feature story about quad rugby, is competing in the women’s 200-meter event.
Via e-mail, she tells RFT how she’s psyching up for the race.
RFT: What’s your best time in the 200-meter? Kerri Morgan: My best official time happened at try-outs and was a 40.58. I have run in the high 30s in practice.
What are you going for? I want to break 40 seconds.
How many women will be in the race? From what I’ve heard there will be eight of us. It’s a final race -- no semifinals.
Who will your stiffest competition come from? Canada: The athlete (Michelle Stilwell) broke the world record in Switzerland this past winter. Since I’m fairly new to track I haven’t seen much of the international competition so I’m not sure how everyone else will fare. I’m going to run my race and just see what happens.
How are you seeded? We don’t find out ‘til late tonight or tomorrow morning.
What’ll you do before the race? Stretching, chair-check, warm-up. From there, it’s a call process where we get shuttled to three different rooms, then to the track. We’re not allowed any electronics [i.e. iPod] once we enter the call rooms. We’ll probably listen to The Killers on the bus [to the Bird’s Nest] and during stretching.
By the way, you told us a little about your trip to the Great Wall. Being in a wheelchair, was it hard to manage? There were 24 of us, and NBC Sports came on our bus and documented the trip. The section of the wall we went to is the one they have made partly “accessible.” We were able to go about one-third of the way up and get a great view. We had a lot of help both up and down because at sections it was very steep. Our team was stopped MANY times to have our pictures taken with Chinese visitors at the wall. By the way, the Opening Ceremonies were absolutely incredible. It was unreal coming out of the tunnel into the Birds’ Nest with 90,000 people screaming and yelling.