Oxford resident Helen Hancock is literally beside herself. In fact, she is overwhelmed with excitement, bursting with pride.
And who could blame her?
After all, she recently found out that her grandson, Benn Fraker, was named to the Slalom Olympic Team and will represent the United States next month during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
"Oh boy, I couldn't believe it," Hancock said. "They were six hours ahead of us, and I got a text message from my daughter and just couldn't believe it. It was such exciting news."
On July 6, Fraker - a 19-year-old from Peachtree City - was one of five athletes selected to the USACK after moving in to the World Cup semifinal with few problems in Augsburg, Germany.
In fact, Fraker (men's team, C1 one-man canoe) was the only competitor to move into the finals since the course was extremely difficult.
He finished fifth overall.
The Augsburg World Cup was the last selection event for the canoe-kayak slalom team.
Others representing the USA Canoe/Kayak Olympic Slalom team will include Casey Eichfeld and Rick Powell (C2), Scott Parsons (K1) and Heather Corrie (K1W).
After taking the year off in 2007, Fraker - who has been competing since the age of 13 - decided to pursue his dream of reaching the grandest of scales.
According to Hancock, in what began as simply a hobby, Fraker eventually found himself in Charlotte, vigorously training with a national coach.
And as they say, the rest is history.
Regardless of what happens next month, Fraker has already compiled quite a resume. He placed fifth in the June Slalom World Cup No. 1 in Prague, and third in the 2008 ICF Slalom World Cup with 121 points.
Fraker finished seventh in the "Good Luck Beijing" slalom test event in August 2007.
His sponsors for the Summer Olympics include Nike and PowerBar.
For additional information, visit the Web site at www.usacanoekayak.org or www.en.beijing2008.cn.