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Paperwork problem keeps AmSam athlete from Olympics

Alex Morgan won't be going to the Olympics after all.

The Ventura High graduate qualified to represent American Samoa in the discus in London.

But American Samoa officials did not submit the paperwork in time to send any athletes to participate in the Olympics.

"I am disappointed. I just really wish I could be following my dream," Morgan said. "The dream is still there, but it's just frustrating that they didn't do something so easy and simple because it's not just me not going; it's two other athletes that had probably the same dream and aspirations that I do."

After capturing the gold medal at the Oceania Regional Track and Field Championships last month, Morgan, 19, returned to the United States to begin training for London.

But late last week, she was informed her summer plans would be changing drastically.

"They told us in June that I was cleared and ready to go, and I recently found out that they got my tickets and everything figured out. It was exciting because it seemed more real, like it was really happening," Morgan said. "But then I got a call saying they didn't submit the paperwork until July 3 and got denied, so there would be no athletic representation for American Samoa."

Morgan wants to prevent a similar situation from happening again in four years.

"My dad and I want to help them improve their program. Doing things like this doesn't give them a very good reputation," she said. "Because they are such a small island in the middle of the South Pacific, they don't realize how big things are like this and how important little things are to do in order to get people to represent them."