Aug 9, 2020
Jon Rankin is a self-described dreamer, and his story is one that is packed with equal doses of heartbreak and inspiration. In this conversation with Kara and Chris, you will hear about how he fell in love with the sport at the age of 14 watching Michael Johnson earn double golds in the 200 and 400 in Atlanta in 1996 and promptly announced to his parents that he would be an Olympian some day.
You will hear about his up-and-down high school career where he overcame a performance plateau his senior year to receive just enough attention from UCLA to make the team as a walk-on.
You will hear about his breakthrough performance to win the US Junior Championship in the 1500m his freshman year only to suffer 7 stress fractures over the next 2 years pushing him to nearly quit the team. You will hear about him learning to fall in love with the sport again and how that led him to break 4 minutes in the mile and run 17 straight PRs in his final outdoor track season at UCLA, which earned him a contract to continue his dream as a professional.
You will hear about him finishing 6th at the Olympic Trials in 2008 only to find out shortly thereafter that he had a terminal kidney disease and might only have months to live. You will hear the gut-wrenching emotion in his voice as he talks about how that news ended his career, contrasted with the joy he experienced when an experimental stem cell treatment miraculously cured the disease.
And of course, you will hear about his perspective on clean sport and why he has become an advocate for it since his time on the track including why he believes that the culture must be changed by the athletes from within.
Jon is now the founder of the apparel company Go Be More, and he's made it his mission to inspire others to pursue their dreams just like he did. We appreciate him sharing his story with us.