Angela Whyte Interview

September 30, 2011 1

© Copyright – 2011 – Athletics Illustrated

Two-time Canadian Olympian, Angela Whyte will be competing at the Victoria Track Classic in the 100 metre hurdles event, Sunday July 3rd at Centennial Stadium.

The 2001 Canadian National Champion is also a seven-time IAAF World Track and Field Championships competitor. She competed twice in the Commonwealth Games, winning a silver medal and owns a 100m hurdle personal best time of 12.63.

Whyte competed for the NCAA Div 1 University of Idaho Vandals, where she earned Big West Female Athlete of the Year honours in 2001 and Big West Female Track Athlete of the Year honors in 2003. She now coaches the Vandals sprint and hurdles team.

Despite all of her success, she considers herself “the other one” on the Canadian running scene, as she competes in the shadow of two of the world’s best hurdlers in Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien.

The CBC wrote: “The trouble is that the Edmonton native (Whyte) has been running in the shadows of the phenomenal Perdita Felicien, who in addition to winning world championships has won the past six national titles. Whyte has been runner-up five times.

“Perdita is an awesome competitor,” she says, “I have considered myself ‘The Other One’. Even after Athens, where I made a pretty good jump in the hurdling world.

Whyte continues to keep her eyes on the prize, which is the 2012 London, Olympics and the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, which start August an 27th 2011.

The ‘Other One’ took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Christopher Kelsall: Coach, how is your sprint team doing this year at the University of Idaho?

Angela Whyte: The sprint team is doing alright. It’s a small group but they work hard to move up in the ranks in the Western Athletic Conference.

CK: Is coaching your thing? Will it be a good substitute for competing one day when you move on? Or will you take advantage of your degree in Crime and Justice?

AW: Funny…I’m not sure. I actually really enjoy organizing meets. If I stay in the sport when I’m done (which I probably will) I think I’ll focus more on the administrative side of things. Or I may do a complete 180 and decide to do something not related to athletics. But you know what? I wouldn’t mind giving television a try (CBC…are you looking for a commentator??? I’ve got wit, a great personality and a smile to boot).

CK: Is the Crime and Justice program in the US pretty much the same as Criminology in Canada?

AW: It is basically the same.  But I suppose it depends on the University and specifically the academic program itself.  My program was integrated with our Sociology department.  Perhaps some programs focus on the application of the “hard” sciences to crime versus the “soft” sciences of sociology and psychology.

CK: Jessica Zelinka said that the National Track League is perfect for her, because of the unique sport that she is in – your old sport – Heptathlon. How about for a world-class hurdler, does it help to have a more professional-like league in Canada?

AW: I think it helps all Canadian athletes, regardless of event. It’s great to have a higher level of competition in Canada where I can run on home soil. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase some of Canada’s great athletes before the Olympics (which is usually the only time people really pay attention to us). And personally, I’m a terrible traveler so it’s great to have great competition without having to fly 12+ hours to get it (European meets are just so far away). And what it all boils down to is this: I love Canada and I it’s great to be able to come home to compete.

CK: You had your knee scoped a couple years ago for a problem that apparently had dogged you since childhood. Is it a chronic issue?

AW: It is, unfortunately, a chronic issue. Over the past few years I’ve come to find out that I was lucky to have bipartite patellas (both knees). Pretty much I have split knee caps. It’s not something that can be easily fixed (if at all). It’s manageable but I’ll never have 100% knees. But, look on the bright side…I can have a new nickname…4 caps (hmmmm…doesn’t roll off the tongue though, it’s workable).

CK: So Four Caps, is starting in the blocks no longer an issue?

AW: I think my start will always be a little bit of an issue. It’s hit and miss at the moment. At times it’s hard to do starts from blocks in practice if my knees aren’t feeling the best. I know with patience my start will be where I need it to be.

CK: What is your goal for Victoria and for the rest of the National Track League meets?

AW: Simple! …to run fast and to enjoy myself.

CK: Your facebook profile indicates that you are engaged to “Track and Field”, congratulations! Is he good to you?

AW: Well….it’s a rocky relationship but I just can’t leave Track and Field. Even though our relationship is a lot of work (seemingly all one-sided) I just remember that Track and Field has given me some of the best times of my life. And I suppose that is worth sticking around for.

CK: Sounds good, after all you refer to yourself as “Track Slave”. Perhaps when you formalize the relationship, you will no longer refer to yourself as the “Other One”. You can’t always be a bridesmaid.

AW: Hahaha. Yeah. I’m sure when we “formalize it”, I won’t refer to myself as the “Other One”.

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