Hometwon: Markham, Ontario
University: University of Connecticut
Phylicia George has quickly established herself as one of the top hurdlers in the world. Seen as a late bloomer she didn’t start track and field until her first year of high school. She was first drawn to the sprints (100m and 200m), however she struggled to find success in these events. Her tall slim frame eventually lead her to the 400m hurdles, which she enjoyed for a short period of time. She was introduced to the sprint hurdles and she instantly fell in love. While she was not highly recruited out of high school, the coaches at University of Connecticut saw her potential and awarded her a full athletic scholarship.
With aspirations to become a doctor from a young age, Phylicia has always excelled in the classroom. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a focus in Physiology and Neurobiology. She graduated with a 3.9 GPA, as well as summa cum laude honors. In her four years at UCONN she set school records in the 60m and 100m hurdles. Although she saw progress every year, she never quite reached a level of national recognition. After graduation, Phylicia faced a crossroads of whether to continue to pursue track or to call it quits and pursue a medical career. With a personal of 13.39 at the time she was far from an elite athlete and the decision seemed obvious. But never one to take the easy path, she decided to follow her dreams to become an Olympian.
That decision proved to one of the best decisions of her life. George’s career has been on the ascent ever since. She relocated back to Toronto to train with Anthony McCleary and Desai Williams. Her first year out of school in 2011 proved to be her breakout year. She broke the magical barrier of 13 seconds for sprint hurdlers, running a personal best of 12.73. She qualified for her first World Championships and successfully made the final. Unfortunately, due to a calf cramp in the final she was unable to put her best foot forward, finishing 7th.
She entered 2012 with even greater motivation. She also made the decision to return to the sprints. At the Olympic Trials, Phylicia won the 100m and came 2nd in the 100m hurdles, clinching her spot on the Olympic team in two events. She ultimately made the decision to focus solely on the 100m hurdles at the Olympics. At her first Olympics, she qualified for the finals, finishing 6th running a new personal best of 12.65.
With such great accomplishment in a short time the future of Phylicia’s career continues to look bright. She is just getting started and is confident that experience will only help her get better. Phylicia is one of Canada brightest emerging stars and looks to be on the fast track towards the podium.