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Craig Barrett

Craig Barrett.

Craig was given the Athlete of the Year Award in October 1999. He competes in the most grueling of all athletic events, the 50km walk representing New Zealand at several international events.

Why did you become an Olympic walker?

I tried it at our athletics day when I was in 7th form at school and had some success. I had a strong feeling that if I trained hard at the discipline that I could do well.

Who inspires you?

People who achieve in any field, not only walking or athletics inspire me, especially if they have to overcome difficulties to achieve their goals. I also get inspired by people in everyday life who go quietly about their work, taking pride in what they do and often gaining little recognition for their efforts.

I would like to know if you have ever won a gold medal.

I have won gold medals at New Zealand and Australian Championship races, the best I have done internationally is:

 * 2nd at the Commonwealth Games,
 * 2nd at Race Walking Grand Prix,
 * 7th at World Championships,
 * 13th at World Race Walking Cup, and
 * 18th at the Olympic Games.

Have you ever been disqualified for not walking properly?

Yes, I was disqualified at the World Championships in Paris for lifting (meaning I had both feet off the ground at the same time), so I am now concentrating hard on improving my technique.

Have you ever lost and felt grumpy at the judge?

There is no point feeling grumpy at the judge because they only disqualify you if there is a problem with your technique. They too are fans of the sport and are just making it fair for the technically good walkers.

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