Tim Hornsby’s journey for the Olympics started in earnest in 2003. He saw it to fruition Sunday in Duisburg, Germany when he qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the one-man (K-1) 200-meter race at the World Cup No. 2.
Hornsby, from Atlanta and a member of the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club in Gainesville, qualified with a fifth-place time in the race (35.962 seconds), and edged out Hawaii’s Ryan Dolan for the spot to the Olympics that was on the line.
“I’m still not really sure if it’s real,” Hornsby said. “It’s been such a long process not only with this process, but the process of going to the Olympics has been a dream forever.
“It’s amazing that it’s actually happening. I’m tripping out. I can’t believe it.”
Hornsby’s journey to the World Cup started in April by winning the 200-meter race at the US Olympic Team Trials in Oklahoma City, Okla. Hornsby and Dolan raced last weekend in the World Cup No. 1 in Poland, but had to compete again in Germany to determine which paddler would take the Olympic spot.
With his Olympic qualifying spot, he becomes the first LCKC member to make the Olympics, according to its coach Claudiu Ciur.
“This is a huge thing for our club and our community,” Ciur said. “This will open a lot of doors for the club in the future.”
One of the first things for Hornsby after qualifying was a call home to his family. He’s played the scenario in his heads through years of training for this dream.
“It’s crazy,” Hornsby said. “There has been a million people come up to me, congratulate me, that have been supportive of me through the whole process.
My family’s not here, they were here last weekend (in Poland for World Cup No. 1),” Hornsby said. “All these people, they mean a lot to me. It’s really nice having so many amazing athletes being happy for you and congratulating you.”