Jan 10, 2021
Track and field is full of thousands of athletes who train hard, seeking glory without a sponsor and unsure of where they might earn their next check to cover rent and food. Mikel Thomas is one of those athletes, and in spite of all of his challenges, he's grinded to 3 Olympic Games and podium finishes at the Pan Am Games and NACAC Championships (for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean).
Plus, he is now an advocate on topics that include athletes' rights and clean sport, even while he is attempting to make a 4th Olympic team, because he wants to leave the sport a better place for those who will come after him. He also wants to make his mother proud.
In this episode with Chris and Kara, Mikel shares his story from being born in Trinidad and Tobago to moving to Brooklyn at a young age to the turning-point moment when a school administrator chose not to punish him but instead to give him an opportunity in sport that would change his life forever. He talks about making the most of that opportunity by teaching himself how to run in the high hurdles by watching YouTube videos even as coaches told him he couldn't do it.
He's proved them and others wrong time and time again, not only learning and excelling at the high hurdles but also overcoming countless figurative hurdles from lack of sponsorship to eviction and injury to being forced to speak out against an embezzlement scandal within his own federation.
Regarding clean sport, Mikel discusses seeing organized doping within the sprints as an athlete, and he details his experience seeing it from the top while working as an intern at the International Testing Agency (which is affiliated with WADA).
Mikel says that his story shows that he is either relentless or stubborn. We think it's both... in a good way. Join us in standing with Mikel to support him in his journey to Tokyo and in his fight to empower and educate athletes for clean sport worldwide.