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The Forbes Standard

Ron_2 In a year that was not exactly one for the FIU sports highlights archives, FIU hurdler Ronald Forbes, like the Golden Panthers football team, ended the year onMount_2  a very high note -- Mount Olympus-high.

By running a 13.63 in the 110m hurdles last week at the NCAA Track & Field National Championships, RF qualified for the upcoming 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He will run for his native country - the Caymans.

Bei On Tuesday afternoon, RF dropped by the GPP to talk about making the Olympics, what's ahead and those 4:50 a.m. bus rides.

GPP: So how does the sound of "All-American and Olympian Ronald Forbes" feel like?

RF: It's something that I can't put into words. I've dreamed about it ever since I was a little kid watching Michael Johnson and other track greats. I always wanted to know that feeling of what it would be like to be an Olympian. You get a chance to experience a part of history now. My island has had less than 10 people that have ever made it to the Olympics. This is a tremendous opportunity and honor not just for me, but for my country and FIU as well.

GPP: When you were running the 13.63, did you feel you had the mark or did you have to turn around and look at the clock and wind speed?

RF: I know I got off to a bad start that race. But halfway through the race I got a surge of speed. For some odd reason I don't feel I am running to my full potential until after I clear the first two hurdles. But a determination came over me at that point. I ran pretty even with the winner, Jason Richardson of South Carolina, so when I finished I felt good about it, but I wasn't sure until I took a look at the wind Ane speed (right). When I saw the wind speed was 0.4, I said "Oh my God, yes, I finally made it". My ticket is booked for Beijing. This was a good time for FIU sports, me personally and everyone involved that helped me reach this point.

[The Olympic qualifying mark for the 110m hurdles is 13.72 and that mark has to be run in wind speed of 2.0 or less, Forbes's personal best until the decisive race was 13.73]

GPP: So what's next for you before you board a plane for Beijing?

RF: I am trying to bring my time (13.63) down much lower before the Olympics. I'm going to get back in the weight room and the training room to take care of an annoying pain in my right foot. Then I'm off to Jamaica to compete in the national trials. In July, I'm going to run in the Central American Shak_4 Caribbean Championships in Colombia. I leave to Beijing in late July. After the CACs, I'll go back home to the Caymans to meet officials and organizers of the Olympic trials.

GPP: How much did the foot injury affect you in the final race on Saturday?

RF: It started to nag on Tuesday and Wednesday. Started to get unbearable on Friday. On Saturday my foot didn't even work. I had to muscle my way through the race. My foot just said "I gave you what I can I give you."

GPP: You have given FIU fans one of the few athletic moments to cheer about this year. What do you think of being one of the athletic program's highlights this year?

RF: This has been a tremendous journey and a tremendous opportunity to represent FIU. FIU gave me an opportunity to get an education coming out of Bacone College (NAIA) in Oklahoma. Like I told you for the article in the Miami Herald, I wanted to end it on a positive note. I wanted to set an example to certain people that are going through tough times, that you can make it. You can do it, if you dedicate yourself and put in the hard work. It can pay off.

GPP: So what do you think now of the 4:50 a.m. 20-mile bus rides you took 5 days a week to practice growing Bus up back in the Caymans?

RF: I've gotten phone calls about those bus rides now after local supporters back home read about it in the article. The people back home have told me they couldn't believe that someone who grew up right before their eyes has made it this far. They tell the kids back home, you can be like this kid [Ronald].

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

With Forbes's success, got a new poll question at the bottom of the Pawse.

inspubadj: I very highly doubt Lazer would be headed to FIU. Yeah, the guy can coach and recruit, but like Clawing Cancer pointed out, too much baggage. Plus, FAU is calling Lazer. However, he's not the only big name assistant that the Owls are interviewing. Florida State assistant and former Tennessee head coach Rod Delmonico, who was campaigning for the FIU head job last year before the Turtle was hired, has also been linked to FAU. Regardless if it's Lazer or Delmonico at FAU, Base college baseball recruiting and competition in South Florida is going to get very interesting pretty soon.

Miri: We'll take your questions for Turtle in a future interview. I'll post on here when that happens. There is no set date for the license plates with the new logo to be available, but like new FIU merchandise it will all be eventually put out with the new logo.

FIU Fanatic: The FIU baseball signing class should be made public at some point this summer. Of the four FIU signees that got drafted, I think FIU may only lose one -- pitcher Stosh Wawrzasek (16th round-Brewers). From my understanding, Matt Gilson is signed with FIU. He's one of the four left-handers that TT signed.

The Golden Panthers football freshmen start reporting on Monday, June 23. I'll include your question for the MC Q & A.

FIU0406: Been told that FIU is working out the kinks with the web host and that's why they have not changed the logo on fiusports.com. Don't worry it will be up. I wouldn't post a new logo on the GPP Jax_2 if FIU was not switching logos.

SouthPaw: I'll go halfway on your vote. I always liked the gold pants and blue top, sort of the St. Louis Rams look. The only thing I would fix about the gold pants is to make them actually gold-colored. The previous pants were more on the side of yellow thanBrown  gold. I'm not hot or cold on the blue pants, but it does seem like the style now at every level of football is to go with the same uniform color for top and pants -- not really a fan of that, unless it all white like the Dolphins.

Quijote & The OC Panther: Thanks for the e-mails regarding the recent Miami Herald cutbacks. Fortunately, the cutbacks on Monday did not include yours truly. So for the foreseeable future, the GPP and myself are still hanging around FIU and the MH. Thanks again for the kind words.

FIUBaseball Girlfriend: Welcome to the GPP!  Right now, it's not clear which players will be returning to FIU baseball and which will not. Fall ball starts in September so we should get an idea about this come August.

CJ: I traded e-mails with Rudy of Odebrecht last week and he said I can come tour and take updated pictures of the stadium some time next week when they finish putting in all the seats of the west end zone. We'll have a comprehensive update with photos on the new stadium on here right after I tour it.

**Due to my schedule conflicts, I've had to reschedule meeting with MC for the Q & A until later this week, so I'll keep taking your questions for the FIU head football coach until this Friday, June 20 at 6 p.m.

**The GPP keeps reaching readers around the world. Here are the latest readers to join the Prowl according to the Google Map Tracker that is used for our poll questions:

Welcome Clinton, Iowa; Madison, Wisconsin and internationally: David, Panama and Budapest, Hungary Vh are all reading the GPP.

We're halfway home to covering the good old U.S.A.....That makes 25 states, 8 countries and 1 territory that the GPP is read in. States: ALA, CA, COL, FLA, GA, IDAHO, IL, IOWA, KAN, KY, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TEN, TEX, VA, VER, WIS. Countries: Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Panama, Spain, United Kingdom, U.S. Territory: Puerto Rico.

Here's the latest poll question for FIU Nation:

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