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Sunday, July 22, 2012

PROFILE: Olympic Medalist Angelo Taylor

by Cyrus Webb

I think we have all experienced that feeling at one time or another that maybe we are not in the right place. It can come from those around us or an stem from an insecurity that we might have about ourselves. What all of us need to remember, however, is that we were created to be the greatest expression of ourselves.

Take Angelo Taylor.

He knows what it's like to come from humble beginnings and to rise not only above his surroundings but to the top of his game, earning not only Olympic Gold Medals but the respect of individuals around the world.

I got a chance to talk with Taylor before he headed off to the 2012 games, and the conversation ranged from not just what he has done but what has inspired him along the way. In speaking about this year's games, he wrote this statement on his website: "I want to make history. I want this more than anything in the world. It's going to be hard work, but I'm up for the challenge."

If you are wondering what a champion looks like, you have no further to go than this young man.

ANGELO TAYLOR ON HIS BEGINNINGS:
"It was during my high school years that I made up my mind what I wanted to do. I came from humble beginnings like a lot of other people. I was on the track team and had a lot of last place finishes, but I never gave up. It had always been my dream to be an athlete when I was growing up."

ON BEING AN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST:
"Being an Olympic Gold Medalist has definitely been a humbling experience for me. I grew up watching the Olympic Games, so I had those who inspired me like Carl Lewis. Four years after the Olympics visited my city (Atlanta, GA) I was on that same stage. I don't say that getting the big head, though. I took it all in stride, but I believe it was my time to step up and show what I could do."

ON BEING THE UNDERDOG:
"After the 2000 Olympic games, critics counted me out. Some said that I was washed up, but then I came back. This time around (2012) I knew it was going to be a challenge, but it's something I want more than anything else in the world. At the end of the day I am going to do my very best. I know it takes to be a champion."

ON KEEPING YOUR FOCUS IN FACE OF TRIALS:
"It's hard. In life you're going to have obstacles as well as trials and tribulations. I have been through struggles. I know what it's like to be up and be down. You have to weather the storm. You have to keep the faith. If you really stick with it and continue to work towards your goal you will succeed."  

ON FAITH:
"I have always been a spiritual person. I believe you have to believe in something. You're not down here doing it by yourself. There have been many times I didn't know how I've made it through struggles, but I know I haven't done it alone. With my strong faith and believing in myself I'm confident when I step out on the track."

ON BEING A ROLE MODEL:
"I love being a role model and inspiration to other athletes and young people. I know what I've come from and what I've been through. I also have kids myself, and I want to be their role model and the one they look up to."

Talk about a great example of someone who has their eye on the prize! Conversations wishes Angelo Taylor well in the 2012 Olympic Games. He ended the conversation with me saying this for our audience: "If you keep the faith and keep a positive attitude that is going to get you through." When it came to those who will doubt you, he reminded us of this: "Naysayers are just motivation to do what I'm trying to accomplish. Let them motivate you as well."


Stay in touch with Angelo at www.angelotaylorusa.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter at www.twitter.com/angelo_taylor

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