Jimmy Thoronka has a 10.5-second 100m PR. "America would be incredible for me. It would be the biggest thing, the most perfect dream. But I am scared to dream now. Dreams hurt too much when they die.”
*"Thoronka Inundated With Offers Of Help" Money, food, a place to stay, training equipment/supplements, you name it.
Jimmy Thoronka (article says he has a 10.58 100m PB) went to London after the games and later found out that his entire family back home died from Ebola. Feeling his situation would be hopeless if he returned home, he has been living on the streets in London, but now his visa has expired and his future is unclear.
“Some days I get no food at all. I wash in public toilets and sleep in the park. I wake up around 4am and if I’ve got a bus pass I get on the night bus and sleep there until morning. I met a man who sometimes lets me sleep at his house but I have to wait outside for him to come home at 10 or 11pm and I get very cold.
“We have a cold season in Sierra Leone but it is not cold like England. Some days I don’t think I’m going to make it and just feel like killing myself. My dream is to become one of the best sprinters in the world but I don’t see how that can happen now. Maybe someone will see that I have potential and give me some sponsorship so that I can train here.”
“I’m trying to keep up my fitness and keep my muscles strong but I’m weak because I can’t get enough food so I only manage to do this once or twice a fortnight. I used to weigh 75kg [11st 11lb] but I weigh much less now. Back home I used to do squats with 75kg weights. I can’t do anything like that now.”
“But after everything I’ve been through I’m determined not to give up hope. During the training sessions in Glasgow I saw Usain Bolt, my hero, and asked him to pose for a photo with me. Unfortunately he said he was too busy training and I never got another opportunity to ask him. He is my hero and my ambition is to become the next Usain Bolt."
“If I had not come to the Commonwealth Games I probably would have died of Ebola along with the rest of my family. I believe I was meant to survive so I can succeed in my dream to be the best sprinter in the world.”