|Scope & Content||
one of 5 Canadian athletes to compete in both the summer and winter Olympics (competed in bobsleigh in 1994)
1 of 2; 00:10Introduction to Hall
00:41Childhood: came to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago at age 6, moved to Ottawa, one of 6 children, his mother wanted to provide a better life for them
02:20Sports played in Ottawa: played everything, soccer, hockey, basketball, dodge ball, that was the culture in Canada, ran track in the 100 & 200m, long jump and triple jump, from 10 to 15 dabbling in everything, around 15 got series and more focused
03:20Did you skate on the Rideau Canal: did that a few times
03:51How did you focus on the long jump: enjoyed jumping, being airborne, not a very good high jumper, had okay speed so it seemed running and jumping was a natural fit, started in clubs and worked up to National level, did the triple jump but was not enjoying it as much and veered off into sprinting
05:16Started taking the long jump seriously: from age 14 dreamt about going to the Olympics; then liked the Olympic ideals, it was about measuring yourself against others in a sport setting, ultimately it came down to focus on 1 or 2 events and felt he could make it to the Olympics and win a medal, realized later he had no concept as to what he was talking about at 15; made his first Olympic team as a long jumper and when he was hurt he focused on sprinting
07:18He and Bruny Surin had similar approach to sprints, Bruny had quicker success
08:21On doing the 100m: coach at Louisiana State was a complete coach, coached everything, put him into speed work because felt he could run a decent time, developed over a couple of years
09:54Was there a 'wow' moment: early in the transition he felt he was moving better, felt in practise he had something and if he worked hard at it, it could lead him to where he wanted to go, satisfying and frustrating event, got to be engaged mentally, something he struggled with
11:00May have focused on the wrong things in the 100, didn't do that in the relay
12:29Never really a team guy when playing soccer, wanted the ball and to be making the play, stopped team sports because he didn't have control, wanted to be master of his own destiny, doesn't have the 'strut' yourself approach to the sprint, low-key, could be aggressive, otherwise not part of the way he is, talks about Donovan Bailey being the strongest person when it comes to competing mentally, he struggled with that
14:09Started the relay at the same time as training for the 100, had to run the open race to qualify for the relay, took to it right from the start, mentally he did not want to let down his team mates, good because he had time to build and get up to speed
15:26Did the exchange or running out of the lane bother you: it is part and parcel of the event, can be prepared but there are countless reasons for miscues, have to be prepared for it, have to be able to focus on the fundamentals of what you are doing and the moment you step away from those fundamentals, basic as that may be, you run into trouble, it is part of the sport
16:48On the makeup of the 1996 team: top 3 times in the open that meet the Olympic/Canadian standard on the team, can go as deep as 6
17:21How many times did you race before Atlanta: started in 1993 with the Bronze at the Worlds, team was Esmie, Horn, Surin and himself; talks about winning Gold at the Commonwealth Games and at the 1995 Worlds
19:11How did the team come together: difficulty in deciding positions, they fought before every major competition, comes down to who is running where because we have aggressive unchecked egos in events, it just gets you down, somehow get 6 guys to go okay and agree to run, to run well and if not to get pulled, when on the track you would never know we were fighting, made a difference in their performance, realized had something good
21:08Describes the race: standing on the track felt calm, confident and ready, laughs about the Ghana team being chased by security and delaying the event, relaxed him, one the team was contained the gun was up, didn't even hear the commands, just the gun, Robert didn't even need to hit the tape, one step away he took off, knew there was no way this guy was going to miss me, the rhythm is that you take off, in the middle of the zone put the arm back and stick is in your hand, "the minute that stick touched my palm I remember closing my hand. And I just remember running like the wind, just feeling like I've never felt before and running like I've never run. I just felt amazing. I felt fast. I just felt like everything was zipping by and I remember we were in lane 6-7-8 and I picked these guys up so quickly. And by the time I got to Bruny, that's the other thing when I was running into Bruny I was exhausted and I had to make that pass. I knew Bruny wasn't going to hesitate, he never does, he keeps you in check. The minute I hit him with the baton I basically stopped on a dime. I was spent.", watched the jumbotron and saw Bruny make the pass to Donovan, "actually the minute Bruny got to the middle of the curve I knew it was over from the standpoint of all we have to do is finish this pass and all Donovan has to do is run a straight line."; it was exciting, for next two years his feet did not touch the ground; going back to when he was 14 and thought he would win a medal, "here I was at 27 and it happened", realizes now how difficult it was to do that; going in as World Champions from the year before meant nothing to anyone because we hadn't beat the Americans, people saw it live on TV, made and impact, remembers Don Whitman's line from the broadcast "if you're Canadian you've got to love Saturday nights in Georgia"
27:33On Bruny's lap: "you know if you don't have anyone near you or beside you and you are handing it to the Olympic and World Champion, you know you've won"
28:10Was the race going to be the end: from a personal standpoint he was exhausted, Atlanta was his 4th Olympic Games, "you can sacrifice because you believe in something", reality was he had a life, plan was to retire after the relay, but went on to the Worlds the next year, not tough leaving, "Atlanta was where I saved all the passion and desire into the last performance"
32:00On the makeup of the team the next year: talks about relay strategy, successful over those years because of the positions, factors in making teams
33:43When was your fastest race: Atlanta was close; 1993 in Stutgart was the best, broke the Canadian record, team basically thrown together, "the heart of our team was we believed we could win a medal. We believed we belonged on that stage."
35:00On Donovan's gesture at the finish line: the world record would have been nice, felt what Donovan did was fitting, what they had to deal with, they hadn't been considered for the Gold medal even though they were the World Champions, feels it was an exclamation mark "we beat you guys straight up", in the end it doesn't really matter [referring to world record], "it was the gesture that spoke to what we were dealing with and what we accomplished"
37:30On Usain Bolt in Beijing: did what he felt like doing, showed no disrespect to the athletes
38:45On practise time: initially couple hours 3 times a week, have to gradually increase the hours
39:33Role model: blessed with a lot, coaches, teachers, school principle, Mr. Monroe bought a membership for him in the Ottawa Lions club, gave him advice, it's important to surround yourself with people who are going to excel
2 of 2; 00:08Talks about marketing the team, hard life with sacrifices, "that's why it's fitting it ended the way it did with Olympic Gold because then it made it all worthwhile."
01:23Coaching now, working with the relay teams with Athletics Canada
02:26Next great Canadian: have a few young guys running well, not identified anyone yet, can be great as a junior but not make it as a senior, as a coach have to be careful how you approach these young guys and preserve their development
04:40Why should a young person play sports: from a health standpoint to be doing something, important to stay active, gives self-confidence, enjoyment, fellowship
06:05Define success: being able to at the end of the day be happy with the choices you've made and the level you've gotten to; winning the Olympics to me isn't success, it starts way before that, the ability to commit to something and to see it to the very end, every facet of life you can find you've got to measure them, look at the little things every day, if you set lofty goals for yourself and that's the only way you are going to be successful in life you are going to be pretty disappointed in yourself
07:29Best leader encountered: from a sports standpoint Andy McGuiness, worked with the team in 1996, it has to be his way, pretty headstrong but values athletes, their future in and out of sport, a planner who faces you to see things outside of sport as well, works hard and loves what he does, you can follow a guy like that, works tirelessly to promote sport
|Year Range from||1988|
|Year Range to||2000|
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta
1994 Commonwealth Games Victoria
1994 Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer
belief in self