Rio Grande City native, Stephen Saenz, might be smaller than most men who compete in shot put|weighing in at 250 pounds.
"Most of the really good shot putters are closer to the 300 to 350 pounds, Rick Sanez, Stephen TMs father, said. Leverage also helps...so the taller you are the better it is. He has to battle the elite athletes....he has to make up with quickness and trying to get stronger."
While he might not be the biggest guy on the Auburn University track and field team, Stephen has managed to succeed in the sport"something his father attributes to dedication.
He committed himself at a very early age to work hard, Rick Saenz said.
Now the proud papa will get to watch his son compete for the ultimate prize|a chance to take part in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
"It makes me very proud and very humbled at the same time, Rick Saenz said. It's a good motivator---kids should know that it can be done by local people here in the valley."
As for Stephen, he said in a phone interview that this is the opportunity of a lifetime and he hopes that his story will inspire anyone who hears it.
"Rio Grande City is a small town...but we can still do big things from that city," Stephen said. "With a little hard work and dedication anything is possible."
Stephen will compete at the Pan Am games on October 25th. He has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Mexico|this allowed him to compete for a spot on the Mexican Olympic team and hopefully earn himself a ticket to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Stephen has to throw 20 meters to qualify for the Olympics---he is already at 18 meters.