One young man's dream became a community's pride at the Canadian national Olympic track and field trials in Calgary last week.
Burnaby Central grad Curtis Moss achieved his athletic ambition at the final Olympic qualifying meet of the season, winning the men's javelin at the national event with a throw of 77.83 metres.
With the win at the national trials, coupled with earning Athletics Canada B standards last month, Moss qualified for Canada's Olympic Games team in London in August.
"I'm just super excited to go to represent Canada and Burnaby as well," said Moss about being named to the national Olympic team.
Moss earned his two B standard distances in the local National Track League series meets last month.
At the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby, Moss threw better than 80m for the first time ever, hurling the spear over that distance on two occasions at the Swangard Stadium meet. Three days later, he did it again in Victoria, throwing a personal-best 81.21m.
At the national trials, the 25year-old athlete opened the competition with what would have been a winning throw of 77.13m into the swirling winds at Foothills Stadium in Calgary on June 29.
"I just salute him," said Burnaby throws coach Don Steen.
Moss went into this season with a drive and a determination to achieve his dream, and without the athletic carding by the sanctioning athletic body other athletes enjoy.
Moss and his family and friends fundraised to send him to international high-performance meets in order to get the experience and competition he needed to reach his goals.
"The support was crazy - that was really motivating - You think about those things that what you are doing is important to you and to other people," Moss added.
Despite all the local support, Moss failed to make it through to the Olympic finals.
"For the journey from (high school) to now, it's been great to share my knowledge with him," said Steen. "It's an ego thing for me. I feel good. But you know, it's been a journey, and at this point, he's not finished. From my perspective, the journey has just started."
We here at the Burnaby NOW hope so, too.