stories, photos, anecdotes….. sharing the past
Westcott, who now lives in Newcastle, grew up on farm at Alectown near Parkes in the state’s central west. His mother, Sue Westcott said he honed his running skills on the family’s merino wool growing property, along with his two brothers and one sister.
“The other children tried to follow Scott because he was hyperactive in that he was always running up a hill or down a road,” she said. “The others followed because they had to do the same thing to see anything of him.”
Mrs Westcott said her son has had the Olympic dream since childhood.
“I remember him writing stories about it in primary school being an Olympian and finishing an Olympic marathon, so [it’s been] a long time coming.”
Source: Pearce, M. (2016, May 23). Marathon runner’s Olympic debut: Rio at 40. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-23/rio-olympics-40-year-old-scott-westcott-marathon-debut/7436284
The dream seemed to be within reach, when in 1993 Sydney were awarded the 2000 Olympic Games.
“I thought that’s going to be my moment, when I’m 25 years old, that’ll be just right,” he said (Pearce, 2016)
However Scott’s story is testament to the fact that sometimes life doesn’t follow the plans we have made. While Westcott made the Commonwealth Games for marathon (2006 finishing 4th with a time of 2:16:32) it appeared that the Olympic dream would remain just that. His attempt to make the Olympics has been a marathon event in itself, as documented by Parkes Champion Post:
Westcott’s tortuous quest to make an Olympic team began in 2000, when he had B-standard qualifiers for the 5000m and 10,000m in 1999, but ran poorly at the trials.
He ran two hours, 13 minutes and 30 seconds to finish 14th in a breakthrough race at the London Marathon in 2004, placing him fourth among Australian qualifiers for the Athens Games.
He was 27th at the world championships in 2005 and fourth at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
In 2008, he ran 2:13:36 in Japan, outside the Australian A time of 2:12:00, but well inside the B qualifying time and the international standard.
He was ranked second, but Australia took only one male runner, Lee Troop, to Beijing, along with three women.
Westcott had a motorcycle crash at the end of 2011, which affected his training during the qualification period for London 2012.
He prepared for the 2012 Melbourne Marathon as if it was his last, but won the national title in 2:16:00.
The run qualified him for the 2013 world titles and rekindled his career, although he missed the world meet after the birth of his third child.
He ran 2:14:21 in Melbourne in 2013 and was third-fastest qualifier for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but again he missed out on selection.
Source: Scott forced to wait to learn Olympic fate. (2016, May 02). Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://www.parkeschampionpost.com.au/story/3883435/scott-forced-to-wait-to-learn-olympic-fate/
However a birthday gift from his family resulted in a bonus present. The Berlin Marathon, the fastest course in the world, was being held two days after Scott’s 40th birthday. His family’s present was entry into the event. Scott ran the course in Olympic-qualifying time.
While this ignited the Olympic dream, Scott’s confirmation to Rio was to undergo its own marathon event. This is highlighted in local newspaper Parkes Champion Post:
Our own Scott Westcott is being forced to endure an enormous amount of obstacles to make his Olympic marathon dream come true. Firstly, Scott had to run a time under 2:10:00 to be eligible for the Rio games in August. He has done that. Secondly, he had to be one of the top three fastest qualifiers in the allocated period to be considered by Athletics Australia (AA) for the three-man team. Scott was third fastest qualifier. He was then nominated for the team by AA and everything looked to be finally going Scott’s way….Finally Athletics Australia saw fit to select him and put his name forward for the Rio team last week. Now a non-nominated athlete has appealed not being selected. That has set the announcement of the team back a fortnight and I am sure it is also giving Scott sleepless nights.
Source: Howard, D. (2016, May 02). THE SIDELINE EYE with Sports Editor Denis Howard. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://www.parkeschampionpost.com.au/story/3883453/the-sideline-eye-with-sports-editor-denis-howard/
Thankfully, to the relief of Scott Westcott and the Parkes Shire community supporting him, his announcement in the team bound for Rio was made official on 11th May 2016 (Source: Ten Cate, R. (2016, May 12). Olympic dream a reality for Scott. Retrieved July 15, 2016, from http://www.parkeschampionpost.com.au/story/3904239/olympic-dream-a-reality-for-scott/)
Scott shared his experiences as his debut Olympics approached. A daily blog, 100 Days to Rio, allowed family and friends to receive an up close encounter with an Olympian in training and preparation.
View Scott Westcott’s selfie video
Parkes Shire Library would like to thank the following organisations for their assistance in making this post possible:
If you have stories or memories that you are willing to share about Scott Westcott or any of the other Olympians of the Parkes Shire , please contact Parkes Shire Library via email@example.com so that they can be shared and kept for posterity on this blog. Alternatively you may leave comments on this page.