Apr 19, 2021
You might know Anthony Famiglietti (nicknamed “Fam”) as the two-time Olympian in the steeplechase with an aggressive, front-running style on the track. You may not know his other side as the quiet, introverted artist who sees the world a little different than the rest of us, including a unique perspective on the world of clean sport.
In this episode with Kara, Shanna, and Chris, we get to meet both sides of him, Anthony and Fam, the artist and the athlete. Anthony grew up on Long Island and was first introduced to the world of sport with a skateboard on his feet, learning on his homemade half pipe to enjoy the journey toward a goal even through failure. He came to running in high school through a few mentors in his life who both died tragically. Running then became an outlet for his grief as well as a pure way to honor those who had believed in him. Not recruited heavily in high school, Anthony had to win the 3200m at the state meet to earn a scholarship to Appalachian State in his final high school race.
Anthony tells us how he discovered and fell in love with the steeplechase at Appalachian State and why he had to transfer to Tennessee in order to truly pursue the event. Once at Tennessee, he met the great US distance runner Todd Williams, discovered that you could make a living as a pro runner, and set his sights on beating Todd’s times and making an Olympic team.
From there, the conversation turns to doping and clean sport as Anthony asks us the question: “what is doping?” He then shares his own experiences being introduced to the gray areas of cheating from a place you might not expect – a doctor associated with the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. These experiences have informed his art including his interpretation of the Alberto Salazar case via a piece called “Death of Saladbar,” in which Kara is also depicted for her role as truth teller.
Anthony understands the impact of the system but still puts the responsibility for the fight for clean sport on the athlete who he believes should be protecting the sanctity of their pursuit at all costs. We appreciate his perspective and the deep dialogue.