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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 09, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 11Apr00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

LDS Man Trying To Walk Into Olympics
(Harrison grad trying to walk into Olympics)
Evansville IN Courier & Press 5Apr00 S2
By Dan Korb: Courier & Press staff writer

EVANSVILLE, INDIANA -- John Nunn, a 22-year-old former Harrison, Indiana  High School graduate, isn't running towards his goal of a spot at the July U.S. Olympic trials. He is walking, and doing that as fast as he can.  The rules are tough and state that one foot must be on the ground at all times.  As soon as one foot hits the ground, the leg above that foot must be straight; the knee cannot bend. Sound like a lot to remember?  Nunn had plenty of practice while serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Attired in the church's missionary dress code, a white dress shirt, tie, dark slacks and the exception of racewalking sneakers instead of dress shoes, Nunn trained for two years.  "People were shocked," he said.  "It was kind of funny."

At the National Invitational Racewalk in Washington, D.C., Nunn raced past his goal of 1 hour 32 minutes and earned himself a berth at the Olympic Trials in Sacramento, California with a qualifying time of 1 hour, 29 minutes, 25 seconds.  . Halfway through the race Nunn's time was 45 minutes, 10 seconds, with him realizing a personal best for the second half at 44 minutes, 15 seconds.

Jeff Salvage, Nunn's coach, has set a new goal for him: finish a race in 1:26.  If Nunn does that, he will realize his hopes of the U.S. Olympic Team.  "It's my understanding that there haven't been many (U.S.) Olympic Trials where walkers have walked under 1:30 because of the heat," Nunn said.

When asked about his success for making the team this year, Nunn replies, "It would be incredible."  "If I don't, I won't be upset.  I would have had a good year and I'll just take it from there."


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