time World Long Jump champion Dwight Phillips shares with us his first online diary of the year. The American who won the Olympic Games in 2004 but was unable to defend his title in 2008 is getting ready for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
“Well here we are at the start of another year. Of course, being an Olympic year it’s a very special year, it’s the year every athlete dreams of and so there are a lot of young athletes and a lot of veteran athletes all competing for one goal. That makes it very exciting.
“I know this could be my last Olympics and that’s something I have thought about. I won the Olympic gold in Athens in 2004 but due to injuries I wasn’t able to defend my title in 2008 so I look at this as my opportunity to defend the title I wasn’t able to defend in Beijing. 2012 is going to be a very special year for me.
“My days are pretty much full between training, therapy and things. I am also a partner in Rebel Star Media, an Atlanta production company that does films, music videos and reality shows. I peek in there every other day. I am constantly updated by email so I know everything that’s going on with our projects. Right now it’s secondary to my athletics but it’s still something that is very important to me. Post-athletics it’s something I will do 100%.
“I have a wife and kids so most days are very hectic with my two boys, Dwight Jr (6) and Elijah (4). They love to come out and see me train.
“Most of my training is done during the school hours but on weekends and in the summer time it’s hard for me to tell them that they can’t come with me to train. So they love it. They want to be like me; they try to emulate everything I do, how I walk, my mannerisms. It’s really amazing.
“When I travel abroad I am always thinking about them. Thanks to modern technology especially Skype I am able to see them and talk to them. I am sure it’s a lot better now than it was 20 years ago.
“I am pleased with my conditioning at this time. Of course, every year is different and some years I am in better shape. Right now I am pretty fit. I am feeling good. My weight is a lot better than it has been in the past. I feel good about that. I am looking forward to competing sometime in late May and preparing for the Olympic Trials and ultimately the London Olympics.
“I won’t compete indoors. I have never been a really big indoor guy. The last year I jumped indoors seriously was 2003 and I think I have jumped maybe three times since then. I am just not very thrilled indoors. Here in Atlanta it’s too cold to prepare and go out to the track so I like to focus more on my outdoor season.
“I like to be very prepared in my training and then I can kind of gauge how many competitions I need before the Olympic Trials which is probably the most important event for me. We have a very rigorous selection process so you have to be really prepared for those two days of competition. Normally three or four competitions prior to the US Championships is enough to make me comfortable.
“If I told you money wasn’t a factor in scheduling competitions I would be lying. It’s not the primary reason I compete. I compete more to become legendary. I have achieved a lot that most athletes in track and field would like to but for me it’s more about becoming legendary, being remembered. I don’t think you can put any amount of money on that.
“That’s all for now. Time to get back to work. Until next time,”