A local athlete will be representing The City Beautiful at the Rio 2016 Olympics this summer.
Marvin Bracy, an Orlando native and Boone High School graduate, is heading to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for the 100-meter dash.
The final 100-meter dash to qualify for the Olympic team took place in Eugene, Ore., on July 3. Bracy’s time, 9.98 seconds, placed him third behind fellow Olympians Justin Gatlin (9.80) and Trayvon Bromell (9.84).
The former Florida State Seminole was unsure at first that he made the top three to qualify for the Olympic Games, so when the scores posted, he could not believe what he just accomplished.
“I’m looking at the times and can see them clear as day, and I’m telling myself that this is not real,” Bracy remembers. “It was the most emotional I ever was.”
Bracy first started running track and field while attending BHS and explained that representing the U.S. at the Olympic Games has always been the goal of his track and field career.
“It was back in 10th grade, and it was my first year running track,” Bracy says. “I wanted to make the team.”
Injuries prevented Bracy from reaching his full potential during the trials for the 2012 summer Olympics in London, and he knew the likelihood of making the team was not high. He then trained for the next four years to prepare himself for this moment, but the feat did not come easy.
Bracy opened up the year running a 10.31 for the 100-meter dash. Bracy had to shed .33 seconds off of his time to secure the third and final spot to Rio. This wasn’t even his best time for the year. Bracy’s best time for the year is 9.94, and he is hopeful that it will improve even more.
Track and field was not Bracy’s only calling. He also played football for the BHS Braves in the wide receiver position, where he was the No. 6 football player in the Central Florida Super60 back in 2011. As a high school student, Bracy was playing sports year-round.
It was Bracy’s natural, raw talent that attracted multiple universities to offer him scholarships upon completing high school. He went on to sign with Florida State University for football and track and field and played for one year before leaving to pursue his dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games.
Bracy explains that while he loves to compete, he does this for his family.
“I do this to support my family,” Bracy said. “I was not going to work for a big Fortune 500 company. That just wasn’t my plan.”
Bracy, Gatlin and Bromell could be going up against Jamaican-Olympic star Usain Bolt on the evening of Aug. 14. Bolt is the most decorated sprinter of all time and won the gold medal in 100-meter dash in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.