Glenroy Gilbert wants to go out in style.
Competing in his fourth and last Summer Olympic Games, the 32-year-old from Ottawa would like nothing more than to repeat the magic of the 1996 Atlanta Games, when Canada's 4x100-metre relay team won gold.
Gilbert was an integral part of the victory, running the second leg of the relay in 9.02 seconds -- faster than anybody has run that stretch of track before or since.
"I never thought I'd be going to four (Olympics) ... that's a long time," said Gilbert, who also was part of the Canadian bobsled team at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. "I thought one is good -- that would be an experience. I wanted to go to the next one and I wanted to get a medal.
"It didn't work out in 1992 (in Barcelona), but in '96 we did it. I wanted to get on the podium. That was always my ultimate dream, to get an Olympic medal."
The Canadians would love nothing more than to repeat their efforts Sept. 30. in Sydney -- the final day of the track and field competition.
But the pressure will be on. The Americans are determined to win back a title they have always believed is rightfully theirs.
Gilbert's future following the Olympics isn't as clear as the plan in Sydney.
He'd like to run one more season, mainly because the biggest events are at home -- the Francophone Games in Ottawa next summer, and the world championships in Edmonton. But without any financial support, Sydney will be his swan song.
But before then, Gilbert plans to enjoy his final Olympic experience. One that is a far cry from his first one in 1988 in Seoul, when he had to live through the Ben Johnson steroid scandal as a member of the Canadian team.
"I think I cried (in 1988) ... we all did. We were 18," said Gilbert, who, with his relay teammates, helped restore the lustre of Canadian track in Atlanta.
"Atlanta was huge -- I can't imagine winning again (in Sydney) could be bigger. We beat (the Americans) on their home track. Going through the heats, we were so far behind them in terms of times.
"People were saying the U.S. would win. Will Canada win a medal? Probably not."
But the Canadians fooled them all in Atlanta and Gilbert hopes to be a part of doing it all over again one more time.
No matter what happens, a great run is coming to an end for the Ottawa sprinter.
"I feel like something good is ending," said Gilbert, who moved to Canada at age five from his native Trinidad.
"I feel like I've done everything I've ever set out to do in this sport."
-- LISA BURKE and ROB BRODIE
-- Ottawa Sun
Gilbert and McCuaig stretching
2000 Games Track & Field Coverage