August 18, 2016

Brother of VUMC employee competes in second Olympics

Olympic medalist Javier Culson. Photo by Chell Hill via Wikimedia commons.
Olympic medalist Javier Culson. Photo by Chell Hill via Wikimedia commons.

Javier Culson, a Puerto Rican athlete, bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics and brother of VUMC employee Judith Culson, competed today in the men’s 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Today’s race didn’t go as well as four years ago; he was disqualified for a false start. He was ranked fourth on the 2016 world list.

Judith Culson is a registered medical assistant in Vanderbilt Internal Medicine.

Javier, 32, in addition to receiving a bronze medal in the London Olympics four years ago, was the flagbearer for the Puerto Rico delegation during the 2012 Opening Ceremonies. He received silver medals at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, and in 2010 he established a new personal and national record at the Ponce Grand Prix, breaking the 48-second mark with a 47.72 victory. He was ranked best overall in the world during the initial part of that season. Also in 2010 he was voted “Puerto Rico’s Athlete of the Year.”

Judith Culson said her brother, one of 12 siblings, has a daughter of his own, Yarien, and began participating in track and field events in middle school. She said that her brother and their family are sad that he was disqualified today, but they’re “giving him some space. We expected him to win a medal, but we feel there was one purpose why it (the false start) happened. Maybe he would have gotten hurt today. We don’t know.”

She expects Javier to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.