A FORMER Enfield athlete who once represented Great Britain at the Olympics is back in record-breaking form – but this time it is for hurling wet fish.
Roald Bradstock would still give many current javelin throwers a run for their money 24 years after coming seventh at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
However, the 46-year-old now spends much of his time throwing iPods, eggs, fish and footballs in a frenzied bid to set a slew of increasingly daft world records.
And his antics have become so popular that Bradstock – or Roald62, as he is know to the YouTube community – has become an unlikely celebrity across the globe.
Bradstock’s throwing career started off in conventional enough fashion, winning the English Schools senior javelin title in 1981, and three years later coming seventh in the Olympic final with a throw of 81.22m, having launched the spear out to 83.06m in the qualifying round.
The Hertford Heath-born athlete recorded his personal best in 1985 with a UK record of 91.40m, less than 12 months before the athletics authorities altered the centre of gravity of the standard javelin in response to throwers reaching 100-metre plus distances.
Bradstock represented Great Britain until 1988 when he disappointingly failed to go past the qualifying round of the Seoul Olympics.
By that time he was well on the way to becoming a US citizen, although it was ten years after his arrival in the States as a student in 1981 when he finally got his green card, and another four years before the one-time Enfield & Haringey athlete became a fully-fledged American.
Earlier this month Bradstock, who at the age of six was told that he should not play sport after being found to have spina bifida, chanced his arm for the US team at the Olympic trials.
He failed to make the cut for the Beijing Olympics after coming 16th in the qualifying round, but had the consolation of having smashed a world record for throwing a wet fish earlier in the year.
Bradstock hurled a wet fish 196ft 9in across the state line separating Florida from Alabama, beating the previous record by almost 10ft.
“A very official world master’s record for a mullet,” Bradstock said in an interview with the New York Times.
Bradstock also claims to have hurled an iPod 154 yards, a mobile phone 132 yards, a soft boiled egg 118 yards, a football 82 yards and a golf ball 180 yards, with all but the mobile phone footage available on his YouTube page.
Bradstock has ruled out throwing anything as normal as grapefruit or melons, though.
“That’s sily – ridiculous,” he added. “There’s a fine line.”
As well as keeping internet junkies busy with his antics, the now Georgia-based Bradstock makes his money by painting.
The man dubbed the “Olympic Picasso” has seen the value of his art rise rapidly in recent years, with some of his individual sports and fitness-themed works now selling for as much as $10,000 each.
You can see more of his work at fitnessartworks.com