Q&A with an Olympian:

Pensacola Voice sits down with Justin Gatlin


Justin Gatlin is an Olympic gold medalist with a 100 m personal best of 9.79 seconds, and a two-time World indoor champion in the 60-meter dash. At the London 2012 Olympics, Gatlin ran a time of 9.79 in the 100 meter final, earning him a bronze medal. His performance at the 2012 Olympic 100 meter final contributed to the fastest 100 meter race ever which saw three men run under the 9.80 second barrier.

How was London?
London was electrifying! It was nice to see how the rest the of the world looks – not just track and field but the Olympics in general.
You received a lot of negative media scrutiny in the past, how does it feel to prove your naysayers wrong?
I never really focused on the nay-sayers, especially when I cross the finish line. I try to concentrate on my supporters, the nay-sayers are always gonna be there.

What advice would you give someone in a similar situation?
Be yourself first. You’ll always have that little voice in your head telling you what you can and can’t do. That’s your confidence that’s your conscience. Listen to that first before you take advice or take opinions from anyone else.

How do you train?
I train 100 percent. I train to go out there and run 97s and hopefully 96s. When I compete, I compete at 100 percent because once you step on that line, the other guys on that line. None of them know what track and field is until it’s taken from them, like it was taken from me.

How do you stay disciplined?
I’m the kind of person who just wants the people who supported me to be happy and to have the pride. So what I do to stay focused is just listen to that, listen to the people who really care about me. The people who pushed me and urged me to go on, because when I was down those are the people that urged me to get back up. Whether it was the phone calls or the cards, those where the things that gave me the power to go on and be the Justin Gatlin I am.

How often do you train (what does your workout entail?)
In the heat of our training season 9am – 3pm, we are going form the track to the gym. We spend about three or four hours at the track and then go into the gym for the rest of the day, unless we need to head back out to the track to touch on a few things, like technical things. That’s just one day of work.

How does it feel to be back in Pensacola?
It feels good, nice to come home … I love being a hometown boy, Pensacola has always been good to me, and I love Pensacola.
What are your plans for the future?
2016 Olympics! Next year it’s gonna be more championships. The next one is in Moscow during late August. I hope everyone stays tuned and I’ll give a heads up to Pensacola.

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