Sports Star of Century savours the athletics
AFTER 20 years in the United States, Olympic hurdles semi-finalist and Daily News Sports Star of the Century Don Wright is home in Warwick for the athletics season.
He graduated from Warwick State High School in 1977 and a year later was competing for Australia in the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada.
Wright won bronze medals in the 110m hurdles in the 1982 and 1986 Commonwealth Games and made the semi-finals of the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
After finishing school, he spent four years in the United States, where he competed in athletics and secured a degree in finance from the University of Oregon.
He then trained at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra before retiring in 1989 and later returned to the United States where he worked as an accountant.
In January his mother Lillian turned 90 before suffering ill health.
Wright returned home to Warwick to care for his mother who has now improved. He is enjoying watching a bit of athletics on the sidelines at Hamilton Oval, going for a few sprints and 5km and 10km runs.
"It is nice to see I still have a record or two in school athletics," he said.
"I am thinking of doing some masters sprinting and hope to find employment in Warwick as an accountant or do some home renovations."
This month he has been watching the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. He can relate to Sally Pearson's battle to recover from injury in time to win silver in the championships, having struggled with injury himself in the lead-up to Los Angeles.
Winning bronze in the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in front of his parents, Roy and Lillian, and family members in 1982 was special, but he finds it hard to go past the Olympics as his career high.
"The Olympics are my highs and lows," he said.
"I missed the team for the 1988 Olympics by 0.01 of a second after running into a headwind in the trials in Perth, a wind called the Fremantle Doctor."
In 2000, Daily News readers chose Wright as their Sports Star of the Century.