SI Vault
 
Willie gets the triple crown
Kenny Moore
June 24, 1985
Willie Banks broke the 10-year-old triple jump world record by three inches
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 24, 1985

Willie Gets The Triple Crown

Willie Banks broke the 10-year-old triple jump world record by three inches

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

In the hour following, Banks occasionally shivered as the achievement worked its way under his cheerful surface. "This," he said, "this is the greatest moment of my life." He spoke fondly of teammates who had goaded or shamed him into more rigorous training. He said now, finally, he might jump at altitude. And he told this story:

"After the Olympics I cried for an hour, in my room. And I asked myself why. Was it because I'd lost? No, it was because I no longer had a goal in life. I was lost. I was alive and healthy. I had a brain. I would become an attorney. But I needed other goals, and not a far-off 1988 Olympics. So I decided. It would be the world record. My tears dried up. I got a little grin. And it's come to this.

"And now that I've made it..." Banks paused, savoring it, this last little jump. "...I gotta go home and cry until I find another goal."

1 2