If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a top athlete when the pack takes off and you can’t go with it, take a look at this video interview with Julie Culley.
Culley, the 30-year-old New Jersey native who trains with the New Jersey-New York Track Club, won the 5000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June, and posted a personal best by more than seven seconds in the Olympic semi-final. But in the final, a nagging high-hamstring issue flared up, and when she tried to go, nothing happened.
“I was just kind of bracing myself for that last mile and the last mile came and I went to open that stride and it was like [Cully makes a grinding noise] everything kind of locked up,” she said, laughing and adding that the hamstring doesn’t bother her at all on the roads so that’s probably where she’s headed for the rest of the year. “It’s almost like this out of body experience. You’re like ‘OK, here we … no!’”
In London competing on her first Olympic team, Culley continued to poke a bit of fun at herself.
“You almost get tainted being around so many Olympians,” she said. “After you make the team you go home, there’s this whole big thing, everyone’s so excited, and then you come here and you’re surrounded by so many Olympians, it’s almost like, ‘oh, is it really that cool to be an Olympian?’ Because, like, everyone I know here is.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg