“Elite athlete preparations for the 2012 London Paralympic Games have made it almost impossible for those international wheelchair athletes who typically participate in our event to attend this year. Athletes from as far away as Japan and Australia consider their week in Cedartown to be the highlight of their annual racing schedules. Not only that, but many of the American athletes who have trained and raced on Cedartown’s roads in the past are planning on competing in the USA Paralympic Track and Field trials the weekend before we would have held our race.
“Obviously, the U.S. athletes who want to earn a spot on the Paralympic team are focusing on preparing for races that are held on the track.”
The Cedartown Wheelchair Athlete Training Camp and 5K Road Race is not only one of the most anticipated events on Cedartown’s calendar but on the calendars of wheelchair athletes from around the world as well.
Some very noteworthy accomplishments have occurred in the first twelve years that the Cedartown 5k Road Race has been held. In 2007, Cedartown was the IWAS World Championship 5-Kilometer Road Race. Also, the world records for all three major wheelchair road racing categories have been set in Cedartown. In all, the Cedartown Training Camp has hosted athletes from 15 countries, and that represent every major continent on earth.
The British Petroleum Company is a sponsor of our nation’s Olympic and Paralympic teams. BP is airing a television commercial honoring the athletes of those two teams. If you see the commercial you will see a young woman in a racing wheelchair. Her name is Tatyana McFadden, who has come to Cedartown many times to race against the best athletes in the world, Grove noted.
Cedartown’s own Krige Schabort has been invited to compete in a marathon for a spot on the American Paralympic team. If he earns a spot on the team, it will mark the fifth time he has competed in the Paralympic Games. He has competed in Atlanta, Sydney, Barcelona, and Athens.