It’s a long, long way from the cement of a Macintyre River levee bank burnt blindlingly white by a Goondiwindi sun, to the golden-dream track of the Paralympics.
But that’s the journey taken by former Goondiwindi athlete Sam Carter, and his family, most of all his parents, Sally and Andrew.
They’ve been there for ever blister, every moment of excitement, all the frustrations and disappointments.
So it’s only right they are there with him now to share in the biggest moment of his sporting life.
Sam has been taking part in the 100m, 400m and the relay at the Paralympics in Rio.
He finished 6th in the 100m final. It was a blanket finish with a mere half-a-second between the winner and Sam.
If proud mum’s Sally’s excitement after Sam made the final is anything to go by, we reckon she probably won a gold for cheering.
This is what she said then “Beware - Emotionally fueled photo, after shouts, tears, hugs, dancing, hair ruffling and all of us running and screaming through huge crowds when we caught sight of this amazing being who has made the 100m Paralympic Final."
And yesterday she added:
“Well, well, well just in from watching, cheering and enjoying immensely Sam coming in as the 6th fastest man in the world.
“Being a very biased and proud Mum I do need to tell you that at 25 years of age he was the baby of the field as T54 track athletes don't start to peak until their late 20s.
“Most of the guys in the final tonight were in their 30s to 40s so we were very chuffed for Sam to just make it into the final at his first Paralympics. Amazing heart, guts and determination. Be proud Sam!
“Thank you to all of you for your support, care and kind words throughout the last 9-10 days and my last post from Rio will be as we party with the Brazilians at the closing ceremony.”
Goondiwindi is proud of you too Sam.
Sam, who has spina bifida began his journey to Rio as a 12 year-old in Goondiwindi traing on the macintyre levee bank between Riddles Oval and the Scout Hut wit his dad.
The family later moved to Toowoomba.
Andrew and Sally owned the Goondiwindi Motel.
Beware, emotionally- fueled photo. After shouts, tears, hugs, dancing, hair ruffling and all of us running and& screaming through huge crowds when we caught sight of this amazing being who has made the 100m Paralympic Final