Former UW decathlete Jeremy Taiwo talked to the Seattle Times about his experience at the 2016 Rio Olympics
UW and Newport High alum Jeremy Taiwo finished 11th overall in the decathlon at the Rio Olympics earlier this month.
He’s now back in Seattle at the Greenlake home he shares with his girlfriend, French Olympian Justine Fedronic. The Seattle Times caught up with Taiwo via email this week to get his thoughts on how his first Olympic experience went.
Seattle Times: What was the most fulfilling part of your Olympic experience?
Jeremy Taiwo: Seeing the smiles of my parents, friends and family in the stadium as I was competing.
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ST: In terms of the decathlon, what were your expectations for yourself going into it, and do you feel like you met your goals?
JT: Preparation leading up to the Olympics was not ideal. I had a lot of external pressures and hardships to endure. I felt that with that in mind, I performed very well. I left everything out there on the track, and I was honestly happy to finish and have my family and friends there to see me.
ST: Did you get to take in any of the cultural sites, food and tourist attractions that Rio had to offer?
JT: I was able to see quite a bit of Rio prior to the competition. It is a gorgeous city with the most wonderful and open people I have had the pleasure of meeting. My Portuguese got really, really good from all the Uber rides and people I was able to talk to about Brazil and the Olympic Games. I hope to return in the near future!
ST: Did you get to watch any of the other Team USA athletes compete in other sports?
JT: Yes, yes, yes! I was bummed that I missed gymnastics and swimming, but I was able to watch a few of my friends play in the rugby sevens Olympic debut. I also got to watch a friend I met during the opening ceremony play table tennis, and was able to see a friend I met at team processing play badminton. I also got to see beach volleyball, and the track events while I was competing in the stadium.
ST: When did you finally get to see Justine? Were you in the stadium watching during her race?
JT: I got to see her a couple days before she competed. During the long jump I quickly realized that her race was about to go off, so I ran over to the edge of the track and started cheering for her.
ST: Is there one thing you wish you’d known going into your first Olympic experience?
JT: I wish I could have known to take media/training at my own pace leading up to the games.
ST: What comes next for you? In what ways do you expect life to change?
JT: Well… I expect my value as a track and field athlete to change, which is exciting. I’m hoping to explore and have fun with wherever life takes me now.
ST: Do you think you’ll be training for the Olympics in 2020?
JT: If I am put in the honest financial situation that I deserve in order to train, 2020 could happen and would be an amazing experience to be a part of. Japan is probably my most favorite country that I’ve visited across the pond.