Three time Olympic Gold Medalist Angelo Taylor visited The Fast Life prior to start of his 2011 season to discuss his career and forthcoming season as well as the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Georgia Tech alumni is the reigning 400mH Olympic Gold Medalist, who successful recaptured the title he originally won in 2000. “Being from Atlanta, after experiencing the Olympics right in my backyard, it was definitely my goal to go to 2000 and compete in the Olympic games,” said Taylor. Having set the world leading time at the U.S. Olympic Trials that year, Taylor was a heavy favorite entering the Sydney Games, “after a mishap in the semis … I drew lane one [and] they kind of counted me out,” recalls Taylor, “I had the performance of my life that meet. I just told myself I wasn’t going to give up.”
But “giving up” is exactly what the Olympian was forced to do following the conclusion of 2004 Games in Athens. “In 2004, after I didn’t make the Olympic final, I was in so much pain,” explains a devastated Taylor that, “I went back to the doctor, they basically told me ‘you need to stop right now’ because you have so many cracks in your shin the bone might just cave in and my career would be over.”
Forced from his athletic profession to the sidelines of a nine-to-five job, Taylor was left to only observe his former teammates, “It was definitely hard for me, watching guys celebrate knowing deep down in my heart they couldn’t touch me.” Of the year away from the sport Taylor feels it, “Definitely gave me a chance to rest and re-motivate me to go out there an do bigger and better things.”
Taylor did in fact return to the track in grand fashion once again recapturing Olympic Gold in 2008 at the Beijing Games. “There were definitely doubters, I kind of liked it because I didn’t have any pressure put on me. I was able to really get in my zone and focus on what I had to do,” states Taylor.
And of those bigger and better things Taylor cites two goals, the world record and a third Olympic Gold Medal. “I definitely want to go for the world record, I think it’s attainable with my flat 400 speed,” states Taylor adding a third Olympic Gold Medal is his “ultimate goal. That’ll set me apart from all the other 400 hurdlers.” As for the historical opportunity Taylor says, “I’m just looking forward to it. London is one of my favorite places to visit. That would be a huge honor, a blessing, to bring back the gold to America.”