23 November 2012 – Barcelona, Spain – The IAAF Centenary weekend will be seeing some of the world’s biggest stars of the present and past grace the celebrations. We put Joanna Hayes (USA), the 2004 Olympic 100m Hurdles champion, under the spotlight and asked her 10 quick-fire questions, a few serious, a few fun, on Friday (23).
Who is you favourite athlete of the last 100 years?
Jackie Joyner Kersee. Quick and easy!
What has been your favourite athletics moment of the past 100 years?
Besides my favourite moment of my accomplishments (laughs).. The reason why this would be my favourite is because this is what inspired me to want to win a gold medal, and that was when Flo Jo won everything. I was watching the Olympics and at that point was when I said, I wanted to be like her. That moment made me want to be an Olympic champion.
If you could change one thing in the world of athletics what would it be and why?
What I would like to change would be that athletes across the world could wear logos on their jerseys. To be able to be noticed more by a wider audience and be sponsored more by many different entities.
Name one reason why people should choose athletics as a sport?
The work is so hard but the reward is so great, that’s what makes it better than any other sport.
Where do you see the sport of athletics in 100 years’ time?
100 years time… I'm thinking I see robots racing! (laughs) I think we’re going to see some new events. Maybe higher hurdles. At some point it’s got to reach some sort of plateau. I think it will be wider spread, with many more people competing.
What was your favourite competition venue?
Athens, Greece, for me for obvious reasons. I think that generally Zurich is the best place to compete.
If one film star could play your career who would it be and why?
Jada Pinketh Smith. Because she’s a little bit crazy like me, I’m a little bit hard, I have a motto for me, that may not work for everybody – and it didn’t always work for me – but it’s kind of, ‘Go hard or go home.’ I don’t want to ever say I backed off or relaxed.
Which athlete are you most excited about watching at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow?
I’m a little bit biased, but I think Allyson Felix. I think because she finally this year was able to win the (Olympic) 200. I’ve been friends with her for many years, and all I ever heard about was winning that 200! She’s really wanted it and it’ll be great to see what she can do the following year. It’s hard to say that she had a disappointment in Daegu, because she did great, but to her standards, it wasn’t. I want to see her come back again and win again the world championships.
If you could bake a cake for the IAAF’s 100th anniversary what would it be and why?
It would be red velvet cake, with cream cheese frosting. It would be a huge track, it would have all the lanes, decorations of all the events – there would be little long jump pits, and high jump pits. And lots of people of different colours, in different uniforms. I think the thing about this sport and the IAAF is that it brings together all cultures. At the Olympics they talk about it, but we do it every year. We have people from all different cultures, different languages. And we’re all able to communicate. We eat together, and we really just enjoy the time. So I think it would be a really multi-cultural cake.
If you could pick three athletes from the past 100 years to attend your dinner party, who would they be and why?
Jesse Owens, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Flo-Jo. I would pick more eventually but those three would get the first invitations.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF