Bolt has built an empire says Christian Taylor

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Photo: Olympic Triple Jump champion Christian Taylor will be performing at the Racers Grand Prix Meet on Saturday.





Just like he did at the London Olympic Games, American triple jump, back to back gold medalist, Christian Taylor will have a front row seat to watch Usain Bolt perform at yet another historic moment is his illustrious career.

Back in 2012 when Usain Bolt repeated as Olympic double sprint champion, Taylor got to watch Bolt win the 200m from track-side.

"My first Olympics in 2012 (London) my triple jump final was the same time as the 200m final and I stopped to watch him run. I asked the lady if I could have a little more time on the runway so I could see the final. I wanted to witness something special," he revealed. 

The Georgia native has never competed in the region before and is excited to have his first "Jamaican" experience. 

“It is my first time in the Caribbean so I am very excited. I am looking forward to the atmosphere (the most). I see the high schools, I see the trials that go on here, you see what Jamaica produces, but to actually be at the track is going to be special for me.

"The videos I have seen are unreal, from the steeplechase to the hundred meters, the long jump, no matter what, the crowd is always into it."

Taylor who was clad in his Florida Gators gear understands more than most, the make-up of Jamaica's athletics system and likened the Annual Boys and Girls Athletics Championships in Jamaica to that of the NCAA Championships.

"The high school champs, the people will support a little more because they have that connection. People take a lot of pride in their schools. For me it’s a joyous occasion because I can relate to that. We have the same NCAA system going on right now, our national championships have begun in Eugene. That is why I have on my Florida Gators gear right now to support my team. I love to see people giving back, whether it’s to their high school or their communities."

The 26 year old was surprised and happy with the reception he received at the Norman Manley International Airport.

"I heard coming through customs people saying - hey I am coming out on Saturday and I know who you are - and things like this, so it makes me even more excited about what’s to come.

"It feels really special to be recognized when coming through the airport, it has been a warm welcome from the beginning and I was already excited to be here. I know the weather will be good, the atmosphere will be good, the two ladies already speaking about coming to the meet on Saturday. They could go to the beach, they could go out to a party, they could just rest after a long week, but they say they are going to come to the meet and support, that’s special."

The impact that Bolt has had on the sport over the last decade is undeniable and none of it has been lost on the University of Florida graduate.

"First and foremost I am a fan of him (Bolt).  For what he has done for the sport, for what he represents he has done something no one else has done and I am not even talking about the track. His personality, his demeanor, his showmanship, these are all things that has brought millions of eyes to the sport and as a fellow aspiring track star I take a lot of pride when people mention his name because I was able to witness and then later on join into the empire that he has created.

Taylor is certain the the influence that Bolt has had on track and field will continue long after he steps away from the sport.

"To see now the closing of that, it’s a bit sad but his legacy, his journey, it doesn’t end he is still going to be around his name will linger for years and years to come so I am very excited again to witness the last time on home soil.

Speaking about his personal achievements Taylor revealed that despite his successes so far in his career, there is a hunger that still burns deep inside him.

"God has been very good to me especially early on in my career. I have been blessed with health, with success but I know where my strengths come from, my grandparents, my parents have instilled in me from the beginning, its God-given talent. I have just been able to use it and channel it in the right way. 

"Having the success, having the distances I have achieved early on, this has been even more motivation because right now I am number two and I continue to speak on the fact that no one remembers number two and so I have to be in that number one spot. I have gotten gold medals and won championships but I am the second best all time, the W- R still belongs to someone else so that is what I am chasing now."