Moss makes Canadian Olympic team
As soon as Curtis Moss of Burnaby stepped off the track after completing his final javelin throw at the Canadian Olympic track and field trials in Calgary on Friday an Athletics Canada official handed him a note.
The piece of paper told him where and when the Canadian Olympic Track and Field team would meet. It was a little bit of procedural information, but it meant much more than that to Moss. The reason he was being given the info was because by winning the event he had stamped his passport for London to compete for his country in the 2012 Summer Games next month.
A dream had come true even though many would have thought it wasn't possible several months ago, at least not for 2012.
"I started crying like a baby for about two days straight. It's finally just starting to sink in now. So finally I can put my head down and start working again," said Moss in a phone interview Tuesday where he was visiting his girlfriend before heading off to two more competitions in Eastern Canada in the next week.
The 25-year-old Burnaby Central grad wasn't the only one that was crying. So was mom Jeanie and proud pop Leroy, a former Canadian Football League running back with the Edmonton Eskimos and B.C. Lions.
Moss had to meet some tough and complicated criteria to qualify. A recent tweaking of technique by Don Steen, who is both Moss's old and new coach, helped him to meet the high 'B' standard set by Athletics Canada at both the Harry Jerome Classic at Swangard Stadium last month and an event in Victoria, which he set a personal best of 81.21 metres.
Those results came on the heels of some very good ones at international events in Germany, Morocco and Puerto Rico. Those followed his hooking back up with Steen, a Burnaby athlete and coaching legend who first began coaching Moss when he was in Grade 10 at Central. Following setting a record at the 2005 provincial high school championship, Moss cut short collegiate participation at Simon Fraser University and Southeastern Louisiana State because the coaching situations didn't work out. He returned home to go to UBC, but 18 months ago he gave Steen a call.
"He's had a real breakout year," said Steen. "For us to rejoin and go back to square one and twig his training and technical stuff is something he wanted to do, and it worked out OK with him making the Olympic team."
Moss said hooking up with Steen, father of Olympic decathlete gold medallist Dave Steen, has been comfortable.
"Getting back with Don, I really feel like it was the best for me athletically, but also mentally. It was just a way better fit than all of the different situations I was in," said Moss.
Moss will participate in the provincial championship on July 13 in Coquitlam before heading off to the Athletics Canada training camp in Germany on July 22. Steen is working on finding a way financially to accompany him because he won't be allowed in the Olympic Village or in the training facilities once the team arrives in London.