One young man's dream became a community's pride at the Canadian national Olympic track and field trials in Calgary last week.
Burnaby Central grad Curtis Moss achieved his athletic ambition at the final Olympic qualifying meet of the season, winning the men's javelin at the national event with a throw of 77.83 metres.
With the win at the national trials, coupled with earning Athletics Canada B standards last month, Moss qualified for Canada's Olympic Games team.
"I'm just super excited to go to represent Canada and Burnaby as well," said Moss about being named to the national Olympic team.
But the notification came with a couple of days of suspense for Moss, despite the assurance from an Athletics Canada official prior to the medal ceremony that he had made the team.
A selection committee took nearly two more days before finally ratifying the 40-member team.
"It was so hard," Moss added. "I couldn't believe it. It was like I was going to wake up and somethiing bad was going to happen."
It didn't. Throwing better than the 82-m A standard would have automatically earned Moss a spot on the national Olympic team.
His main rival was Scott Russell of Ontario, who threw 84.41m last year to establish a new Canadian record.
Russell needed a B standard throw this season to make the team. Russell placed third at the trials with a throw of 71.73, nearly two metres behind B.C.'s Kyle Nielsen.
Moss earned his two B standard distances in the local National Track League series meets last month.
At the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby, Moss threw better than 80m for the first time ever, hurling the spear over that distance on two occasions at the Swangard Stadium meet.
Three days later, he did it again in Victoria, throwing a personal-best 81.21m.
At the national trials, the 25-year-old athlete opened the competition with what would have been a winning throw of 77.13m into the swirling headwinds at Foothills Stadium in Calgary on June 29.
"I just salute him," said Burnaby throws coach Don Steen.
Moss went into this season with a drive and a determination to achieve his dream, and without the athletic carding by the sanctioning athletic body other athletes enjoy.
Moss and his family and friends fundraised to send him to high-performance meets in order to get the experience and competition he needed to reach his goals.
Moss started with a win at a Grand Prix meet in Puerto Rico in May.
He then ventured to Europe, where he finished second in a top European throwing meet in Halle, Germany, where he achived a then personal best 79.27m.
"The support was crazy - that was really motivating. - You think about those things that you are doing are important to you and to other people," Moss added.
That support from his family and close friends was there in Calgary, too.
After his final throw, Moss ran back to the stadium fence where his coach and family were standing.
"It was really cool. It was great to share all that with them and to be so close. I was crying like a baby," said Moss.
"For the journey from (high school) to now, it's been great to share my knowledge with him," said Steen. "It's an ego thing for me. I feel good. But you know, it's been a journey, and at this point, he's not finished. From my perspective, the journey has just started."
Later this week, Moss will compete at a couple of high-performance meets in Moncton, N.B. and in Toronto this Sunday.
Moss will then return home in time for the B.C. championships in Coquitlam on July 13.
The national team will also travel to Germany for a pre-Olympic training camp later in the month.
At the London Games, the men's javelin throw qualification is scheduled for Aug. 8.
Javelin thrower Krista Woodward of New Westminster missed qualifying for the London Olympics following a second-place finish at the national team trials in Calgary. Woodward bettered the championship record, throwing the spear 55.36m.