Christian Taylor used to bounce around the house when he was little. Now, at 22, he’s a world champion in men’s triple jump. London will be his first Olympics, where he is the favorite to bring home a gold medal for USA Track and Field.
“We actually had to replace the floorboards in the house because I was constantly jumping and they were giving…so that was a problem,” Taylor admits of his ‘jumpy’ childhood. “But I repaid [my parents] now.”
Taylor won the men’s triple jump at the 2011 World Championships at Daegu, South Korea with what one writer described as a “Beamonesque” leap, a reference to former gold-medal winning long jumper Bob Beamon. The former Florida Gator says the Olympics are the “pinnacle” of any sport.
Not only does he want to be considered the greatest – he wants a gold medal.
“[Winning a gold medal] would be a dream come true,” Taylor said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Taylor started participating in long jump when he was in high school but soon grew bored because he felt like he could do more with his athleticism and quickness. He discovered triple jump while browsing through You Tube. Taylor ordered some dvds from colleges to learn the sport he would soon discover wasn’t very popular.
Taylor needed just one jump in the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials in June to punch his ticket to London.