A Quest to Make History
by Devon Jeffreys
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials began this week in Tracktown, but Angelo Taylor will have to wait his turn to make a run at his fourth Olympic Games.
The U.S. trials in the 400-meter hurdles don't begin until next Thursday. But Angelo doesn't mind a little extra waiting. He has waited four long years to get back to the Olympics since winning the gold in Beijing in 2008. Since then, he's been motivated by a desire to become the first man ever to win three Olympic golds in the 400mH.
"I'm trying to do something nobody's ever done before," Angelo recently told Sister2Sister Magazine. "That's what drives me."
Angelo finished first to win gold at the 2008 Olympic Games and has dreamed since of doing so again in 2012.
Angelo's best time in the 400mH this year is a 48.71, eighth best in the world for 2012, but well off the 47.25 he ran to win the gold in 2008. Still Angelo, who has only run the hurdles competitively twice this year, believes his training has put him in position to be at his best over the next two months.
"Based on my shape and past performances, I'm feeling really good," he told S2S. "I'm feeling just like I did in '08," he said. "I definitely know how to handle myself. I know what to expect. I let my experience go into play."
That experience began in 2000, when Angelo participated in the Olympics for the first time in Sydney, Australia. But AT's affinity for the Olympics was born four years earlier when he was a teenager and the Games took place in his native Atlanta.
"Having the Olympic games come to my backyard really inspired me," he said. "[And] just a mere four years later I'm participating…I felt like I was on top of the world. It was such a surreal experience. Such a surreal feeling."
He won gold in Sydeny and after a disappointing fourth place finish at the 2004 games in Athens, Angelo came back to win the gold again 2008. With the second gold, he matched Edwin Moses, one of his idols, as one of only three men to ever win the 400-meter hurdles gold twice. Moses won the gold during the 1976 games in Montreal and 1984 in Los Angeles, but came up short in his try for a third gold in 1988.
At the U.S. Trials next week, Angelo will begin a quest to do what Moses couldn't. And he'll have the backing of many pushing him toward that ultimate goal.
"I'm trying to make history," he said. "I've got so much support and people behind me, pushing me. I really want to make history, but also set a good example for my sons."