Addy lives Olympic dream for Liberia

Jangy Addy's Olympic dreams fell short at this year's U.S. trials, where he finished sixth in the decathlon, an event in which only three athletes qualify.

But a second chance materialized for the Norcross grad.

Addy was asked by Liberian officials to compete for the African nation in this month's Olympics in Beijing, and he accepted the offer. He is eligible to compete for Liberia because he is a direct descendant of Liberian parents and it has been more than three years since he represented the U.S. in a meet - the 2004 World Junior Championships.

"I'm very excited and thankful for the opportunity to compete in the Olympic games," Addy said in a press release issued by his alma mater, Tennessee. "The invitation was somewhat unexpected, and I will have to prepare quickly, but I look forward to competing later this month."

Addy took center stage immediately at last weekend's opening ceremonies, even carrying the Liberian flag. He is one of three Liberian Olympic athletes, part of a 16-person delegation that made the trip to Beijing.

All three Liberian competitors are U.S.-based track and field athletes, including Bethune-Cookman coach Kia Davis and former LSU sprinter Siray Williams.

Despite not making the loaded U.S. team, the 23-year-old Addy is considered one of the world's best decathletes. Despite an injury plagued 2007-08 season, he is one of the country's few athletes to have topped the 8,000-point plateau.

He scored a career-best 8,025 points at U.S. trials and also had a runner-up finish at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships, capping a four-time All-American career at Tennessee.

Addy holds the college decathlon record in the 110-meter hurdles, set at this year's SEC outdoor meet, and also holds the world heptathlon mark in the 60 hurdles, set at this year's SEC indoor competition.

The Olympic track and field events begin later this week, but the decathlon is scheduled for Aug. 21 and 22.