NORWICH, VT - The town of Norwich rolled out a soggy red carpet today for a celebration of Olympic proportions. A little rain wasn't going to stop the town from giving a proper send-off to Andrew Wheating. Wheating will compete in the 800 meters next month in Bejing. He is the 12th Norwich native to compete in the Olympics, but just the second to take part in the Summer Games.
Andrew Wheating might be an average guy his Olympic story is anything but. It all began on the soccer field at Kimball Union Academy.
"I tried out my junior year for the varsity squad," said Wheating. "As part of out tryouts we had to run a mile, and I ran five flat. So after that the coach pulled me aside and I'll always remember what he said,' we could be sitting on Olympic stuff here.'"
So Wheating decided to give up soccer and go out west to Oregon for college. After just two and a half years running he kept his goals pretty low.
"My goal coming into the season was getting to the finals in the NCAA's at Nationals," said Wheating. "Round One alright cool, Round Two oh my gosh how did I get here, Round Three I made it to China!"
Wheating's home town of Norwich, VT has seen its share of winter Olympians and this 20-year -old knows the history and is proud to be a part of it.
"I hope that's me someday," said Wheating. "Now that its actually come around and it is me this time around its hard to wrap my mind around it and everyone around this town is so supportive."
So, it appears giving up soccer was a good decision?
"It's the best decision so far but it's a hard one it was a hard one to let go but definitely a good decision."
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