Work in Sports
This is what it feels like
Four years after the Olympics came to his hometown of Atlanta, 21-year-old Angelo Taylor is at the Olympic Games in Sydney. Taylor, a management student at Morris Brown College, won the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials with a personal best time of 47.62 seconds -- the fastest time in the world this year. Check out Taylor's diary on CNNSI.com from Sydney.
Editor's Note: Taylor qualified for the 400-meter hurdles final when he finished second in his semi-final heat on Sept. 25. The final is on Sept. 27.
Sept. 25, 2000
I ran in my first Olympics race last night. It was the first heat for the 400-meter hurdles.
Let me tell you what it is like to be an Olympian, stepping out on the track for the first time. This is what it feels like to be on the other side of the cameras, to walk out there and knowing that all the training, all the dreaming and believing will come down to less than a minute in which you now have to put it all together.
Living in the Olympic Village was cool. It's a very laid back environment. I had met a lot of new people from different countries and different events. But I was tired of waiting around and was ready to get started.
From the moment I woke up on Sunday until I hit the finish line, this is what it was like:
Finally, the day of my race is here. I am nervous, as usual, but more nervous this time because this is the Olympic Games. All I am thinking about is making it through the first round. I want to take it one round at a time.
I go to the practice track and get in a good warm up and stretch and I felt great. I do my drills and strides and it feels real good. Then, the first call is made.
That's when we have to go in a room and they check our spikes and what's in our bags. Then we walk to the Stadium. When we start to walk to the Stadium, and walk through that tunnel, I say to myself, 'This is my first Olympic Games. This is where it all starts.'
All types of emotions are stirring up on this short walk to the Stadium. We arrive at the final call room right up under the Stadium and I do a couple off strides, just trying to stay warm. There is still a lot of waiting around. The seconds seem like minutes. The minutes seem to go on forever. I am thinking that I am just ready to get this over with.
We finally go out and I am just trying to control my emotions. The stadium is packed from top to bottom. I just block everything out and get ready to run.
The first heat goes off and then the second. Now, they are announcing the runners in the third heat ... my heat ... it is my turn .... I am ready.
I go into the blocks and it is time to go.
The gun goes off. I have a good start and am feeling good through the first six hurdles and then the wind hits me hard at the seventh hurdle at the second turn, so I cut down my stride pattern to finish strong. When I come off the tenth hurdle, I look over to see where I am and cruise in nicely.
I feel a big sigh of relief when I hit the finish. I am through the first round.
The times are not very fast, due to the wind. I am pleased with my 49.38 and put on my stuff and go cool down, then get a massage.
Now it is time to get ready for the next round. My semifinal round is kinda tough, I am just going to run hard for 10 hurdles and see where I am off the tenth. Now, I am just getting ready for that semifinal run tonight.