April Holmes has a new member of her “medal family,” as the Paralympic sprinter calls it.
Holmes, who originally hails from Somerdale, clocked a seasonal-best 13.33-second performance in the 100-meter race, trailing only Marie-Amelie le Fur of France (13.26) and Dutch runner Marlou van Rhijn (13.32).
Holmes entered the race as its defending gold medalist and a one-time world record-holder. She competes in the T44 classification for Paralympians with amputations. Holmes lost her left leg below the knee after a train accident.
The runner is tweeting her experiences:
Getting dressed to go get my medal. YIPPEE! It was tough sleeping without the newest member of my medal family.
This crowd here @paralympic Games athletic stadium is AMAZING! They cheer so loud it gives you goosebumps
Nearly impossible to individually respond to all the text and tweets of support. So here is my personal "THANK YOU"! #YouPushedMe
Holmes placed second in the second of two 200-meter T44 qualifying heats today, and will compete in the final Thursday. You can follow her progress on the official 2012 London Paralympics website.
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In a side note, perhaps the oddest story to emerge from the 2012 Paralympics involves South African Oscar Pistorius, who earned the nickname "Blade Runner" for the special adaptive devices that allowed him to compete at the 2012 Olympics.
Pistorius was narrowly edged in the 200M Sunday by Brazilian Alan Oliviera, a runner who Pistorius claimed had an unfair advantage due to the length of his blades.
"He's never run a 21-second race and I don't think he's a 21-second athlete," Pistorius said of Oliviera after the race. "I've never lost a 200-meter race in my career."
It was an unfortunate nit to pick for the man who became an international sensation this summer, rising above the protests of other runners who claimed he had an edge in weight and speed against able-bodied athletes.
Pistorius apologized in a statement the day after his initial remarks, saying, "I would never want to detract from another athlete's moment of triumph and I want to apologize for the timing of my comments."