Interview with Team France's Reina Flor Okori (100m hurdler)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Living in London has created an Olympic Fever.  Everyone is glued to the TV and radio hoping their country wins another medal.  The Olympic Park and Athlete's Village is one Tube stop from my work so I went over there yesterday in the hopes of interviewing another athlete.  Reina Flor Okort, France's 100m women's hurdler, was kind enough to speak to me as she waited for her family.  This is her third appearance at the Olympics and she had competed earlier in the day.  The semi-s and finals are tonight.  We wish her the best of luck!

Mollie (M):  Who is here to cheer you on?  Your whole family?
Reina (R):  No, my family is too big!  My mom, brother, and boyfriend are a few of the family  members that are here.  I am waiting for them now.

M:  Have you competed yet?
R:  Yes, I came in 2nd place in my heat today and the finals are tomorrow.

M:  When did you arrive in London?
R:  I came 3 days ago to get used to the environment.  It is an amazing event to be held here in London.

M:  How do you feel about completing in England when there is always a little rivalry with France?
R:  We each have a great history and live so close to each other, yet we are very different culturally.  I really like how into sport Great Britain is.

M:  With the success of so many female athletes, will the Olympics change women participating in sport?
R: For the average woman, it is very important to be healthy and stay in shape.  I think the Olympics will encourage that.

M:  Does your family exercise with you?  Was your mom active when you were growing up?
R:  No, my training is too extreme but my family is active.  My boyfriend is Dutch and cycles a lot.  My mom is adventurous and recently tried hang gliding, but she wasn't that sporty growing up.

M:  Why did you become an athlete?
R:  I switched schools and the coach saw something in me.  I was able to travel for free so I said yes.  There are so many different faces and mentalities to see when I travel.

M:  Are there any high-profile athletes you are hoping to meet, such as Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps?
R:  Since I do athletics, I am around Usain on the track.  In the end of the 2004 Olympics, I went to a party with lots of the athletes and Michael Phelps was there.  I am more interested in meeting people who have achieved the goal they set out to do, like Jessica Ennis.

M:  If/when you win a medal, where will you keep it?
R:  I haven't thought about that, but I know I am going to give thanks to God.

M:  What is next for you?
R:  Right now I am focusing on my dream of getting a medal.  Athletics season is just starting so I have the Diamond League circus competition next.

M:  Is there any advice you would give aspring athletes?
R:  Believe in yourself, not the dream killers who say negative things about you.

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