Dwight Phillips

Phillips: ‘I would say I am very motivated this year’

Dwight Phillips of the USA celebrates victory in the men's long jump final (Getty Images)Dwight Phillips of the USA celebrates victory in the men's long jump final (Getty Images) © Copyright

Threetime World Long Jump champion Dwight Phillips may have sat out this indoor season, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy as he sets his sights on a third Olympic gold medal.

“Well, winter is nearly over. Training is going very, very well and I am in pretty good shape. My endurance is good and my sprinting is going well.  I am going to start my jumping routine in about two weeks from now which is a little ahead of schedule. I normally start at the end of March.

“But with the indoor season having just started I am getting antsy and really looking forward to competing outdoors.

“As I said before I am not jumping indoors. I don’t really follow the results a lot. I do hear sometimes my fans tell me how other athletes are doing. That’s the only way I hear. Some of my good friends in other events they will tell me how they do but I don’t really follow the results. I feel like if I am not competing it doesn’t matter to me.

“I am a big fan of sport in general and I enjoy watching competition when I am there but when I am not there it’s kind of ‘out of sight out of mind.’

“I especially follow basketball and NFL football. Right now it’s basketball season and I follow the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and the LA Lakers. I have a great time following those teams and of course, my Atlanta Hawks. That’s my team.

“Recently I got the chance to see the Hawks play the Miami Heat. They got beaten pretty badly - it was 107-87 - but it was fun to see Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and all those guys play live.

“I played basketball in high school. I was pretty good at it.  I was recruited by major universities but I prefer the individualism of track and field so I decided to go with that. I made my decision and it has paid dividends.

“I am much older than those younger guys in the NBA. There was a young kid who went to my high school (Tucker High School in Tucker, Georgia) and he is now playing in the NBA. His name is Marshon Brooks. It’s fun to watch him play for the New York Knicks because I have talked to him on many occasions. It’s fun to see people from your home town, especially your high school.

“Besides training and getting to see some basketball I am enjoying spending time with my two kids. Elijah’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I am teaching both of them how to work these computer games. We will have a birthday party for Elijah and we always invite a lot of kids. I will be out there with the kids jumping in the jungle gym.

“We are also working on various projects at Rebel Star with a lot of different musicians, rap artists, projects of that nature. I love all kinds of music, jazz, rap, blues, everything. And we are also working on a reality television show. We have quite a bit of work going on.

“As I said before I am getting antsy and really want to compete. We haven’t decided yet where I will open the season. I do know I will want to go somewhere decent and warm. Normally I will start in late May and get three or four competitions in before the US championships. I would say I am very motivated this year.

“My main objective is to become legendary. That keeps me motivated. I want to be the best in the event. I inspire a lot of kids and I just want to be their inspiration so that in the future these same kids maybe they can be someone else’s inspiration. That’s my goal to be inspirational to the youth that follow me.”