Wicksell credited her family as great driving forces in her athletic career. “But they never pushed me or anything,” she said. Due to sanctions placed upon South Africa during apartheid, local athletes could not participate internationally. “Running back then was more of a hobby […] all we ever did was compete amongst ourselves,” Wicksell said. She added that because the only athletic exposure they had was across the border in Namibia, she “did not know what she missed” because of the sanctions. However, when the Springbok squad was flown to Helsinki in 1983 to watch the IAAF World Championships, the consequences of isolation hit. She recalled sitting in the stands watching Jarmila Kratochvílová on the track with “tears in [her] eyes”, wishing that she too could have been running. “We just watched, […] we could do nothing,” she said.

An Achilles injury in 1984 stopped her from running for seven years. Nine years later, married and a mother, Wicksell hit the track in Mauritius where she won bronze in the 800m. In 1997, she won the World Veteran Championships 800m race. Wicksell said that although training was slightly more difficult in her thirties, she drew a lot of strength from being a mother. “You are definitely stronger after children,” she said, adding that she gained more discipline from one.

Today, Wicksell is still involved in sports and is the manager for specialized and individual sports at TuksSport. She hopes more students participate in sport, even if it is just for recreational purposes. “Sport makes your whole life broader,” Wicksell said. “We need more Casters to come through,” she added.


Images provided.

Website | view posts