THE dreams of two home-grown athletes to represent their country at the Paralympic Games have come true.
Former Cordeaux student Hollie Arnold has been selected in the javelin squad while Binbrook’s Jamie Carter has been given the nod for the wheelchair racing team.
The two Louth-area stars will be part of the Team GB squad for the games which get underway on August 29.
Hollie, 18, used to live in Holton le Clay but has since moved to Wales to be nearer her coach.
And the athlete, ranked second in the world in her category, faced a tense wait before the 49-strong track and field squad was announced last week.
It will be Hollie’s second chance to perform in front of the world’s eyes at the Paralympic Games, having competed in Beijing, China, four years ago.
Meanwhile 17-year-old Jamie Carter will compete in the T34 classification 100 metre and 200 metre races at the 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium in London.
Already the holder of the 200, 400 and 800 metre records for his class, Jamie cut 2.5 seconds off his personal best in the 100 metres this year to take the British record for his classification, as well as breaking the other three records again.
He admitted he was only just coming to terms with the shock of his call-up.
“I was quite gobsmacked when I got the call to say I was in the team and it is only really just starting to sink in,” he said.
“I am really excited, but now I need to be serious and get back to training.”
“David (Weir - coach) has been a real inspiration and has given me some fantastic encouragement.”
This time last year it was the 2016 Paralympics that were the focus of Jamie’s attention, but such has been his determination to succeed, he caught the eye of selectors for this year’s Games and secured a place in the London 2012 squad.
But Jamie is no stranger to the Olympic stadium, having taken part in the test event earlier this year.
“I think that will be weirdest feeling for me,” said Jamie. “Last time I was in the stadium there were about 2,000 people watching, this time there will be more than 60,000-80,000 spectators.”
And among the spectators will be Jamie’s mum Sandra, dad Gary and sister Millie.
“We are all so proud of him,” said Sandra.
“It has been a very emotional time, but we are so pleased that his dream has come true.
“We would like to thank everyone who has supported him – his coaches Jenny Archer and David Weir MBE, the Disability Sports Forum, Wheelpower at Stoke Mandeville, his main sponsor Lincs Loos and everyone locally who has been so supportive, kind and generous.”
The Olympic Games get underway on July 27 with the Paralympics on August 29, and you can follow the progress of all our local athletes, including Hollie, Jamie and swimmer Kate Haywood online at www.louthleader.co.uk and in the Leader each week.