Page 3 Profile: Joel Hodgson, sprinter


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On your marks, get set…

Go. Well, hopefully. Joel Hodgson, 26, is just half a second away from competing at Glasgow 2014. He needs to reduce his best time at 400m to 45.7 sec to make the cut.

What’s his story?

When he was three months old he was abandoned by his mother at an orphanage in Belize. He and his two sisters were adopted by a Scottish couple when he was four, and grew up in West Dunbartonshire. Hodgson moved to London in 2009 but soon found himself homeless.

Things weren’t looking great…?

“Life was tough for a while but then things started to improve,” Hodgson said. He began selling the Big Issue outside a law firm and staff were so impressed with his attitude they offered him a job.

How did he end up competing for a place in the Games?

Colleagues voted for him to carry the Olympic torch in 2012 on its journey across Britain, in what Hodgson has described as “the proudest day of my life”. The Belize athletics team invited him to raise the national flag in the Olympic stadium before the opening ceremony and he mentioned how he had dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal for the 400m as a child.

Dreams can come true?

Fingers crossed.