Paula Radcliffe, the marathon world-record holder, will not race the marathon in her home country because of a foot injury. This is the latest in a long string of Olympic disappointments for Radcliffe, one of the most accomplished marathoners of all time.
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"From the day when it was announced that London had won the bid, taking part and performing well in the London Olympic Games has been a major goal in my life," Radcliffe said. "The goal of a fifth Olympics in my home country, what better? The chance to make amends to myself for bitter disappointments at the previous two Olympics."
At 38, Radcliffe does not believe the injury will end her career, but it is just one more disappointment in her quest to be an Olympic champion. Injury and illness forced her out of the 2004 marathon after 22.4 miles. In 2008, she broke her leg early in the year, but rehabbed in time for the Olympics. During the marathon, she cramped up often and took 23rd.
Radcliffe talked to Fourth-Place Medal earlier this year about how she really wanted to win in London.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any athlete to take part in an Olympics on home soil. It gives me goosebumps thinking about the support and the atmosphere we'll have and the great show that London's going to put on. I feel doubly blessed because I do have very many happy memories of running in London Marathons, and I can draw on those memories and imagine what it's like to run in the Olympic Games there. There's added pressure, but it's a huge boost for athletes."
Unfortunately, she won't get to add to those memories in 2012.
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