Mar 22, 2021
Nick Willis might be the fastest "amateur" athlete in the world. He hopes it is fast enough to help him qualify for his 5th Olympic Games in Tokyo this year.
In this episode led by Chris and Adam, we find out all about Nick's career, which now spans nearly two decades, from growing up in New Zealand to now joining the corporate world with Tracksmith. Of course, we cover the two Olympic medals in between too!
Nick's story is a fascinating one as he showed promise in running at a very early age, running a city record at the age of 7 in the 200m sprint. Even with the early promise, his path to his first Olympic medal in 2008 was far from a linear one. We discuss those twists and turns with Nick and then hear the play by play on his final race in Beijing as he passed 3 runners in the home stretch to earn bronze on the day.
That medal would be upgraded to silver just a year later to the surprise of no one as the gold medalist Rashid Ramzi was disqualified for doping. Later Asbel Kiprop, who still officially holds the gold for that race, would be banned for doping as well. In spite of all of that, Nick explains why neither Ramzi or Kiprop could ruin his memory of that experience.
On doping, Nick shares his first experience seeing it on the international scene. He talks about how he approached races knowing that certain competitors were definitely cheating and how speaking out against it can come with a price. He even details how drug testing works for an international athlete training outside his home country, as he spent most of his career training in the US. Plus, Nick gives his perspective on the future of clean sport and how he plans to give back to it in his new role with Tracksmith.
Nick has said, "Running is empty unless it’s about something more." In his new role as an "amateur" athlete, he is committed to building that something more in the sport, and we can't wait to see what comes next for him!