Christian Taylor, who can triple jump nearly 59 feet, wants to soar clear across the Caribbean in seven years.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalist reiterated his desire to compete for Barbados this week, speaking to the island’s Nation newspaper.
“Barbados is my roots, my blood,” Taylor, who had family from Barbados watch him win gold in London, told the newspaper. “I wanted to represent this country before, and it is unfortunate that it didn’t work out. I don’t know all the small details that went into it, but we were trying to get dual citizenship, but I am looking at 2020.
“That’s possible; that’s the goal. I would like to compete for this country. We will do whatever we can to work on it and see who we need to see.”
In 2011, the newspaper reported that Taylor dreamed of representing Barbados, but quoted his grandfather saying “it just wasn’t possible.”
Taylor was born in Fayetteville, Ga., to Barbados-born parents. A country music fan from the University of Florida, he is only 23 years old. He won the 2011 World Championship and took fourth at worlds in August, but his best jumping days may still be ahead of him.
The two longest triple jumps in history were done by Jonathan Edwards at age 29 and Kenny Harrison at 31. Taylor is currently chasing indoor world record holder France’s Teddy Tamgho, 24, who posted the third longest jump of all time to win the World Championship in Moscow in August.
Taylor has been treated very well on a trip to Barbados this week.
“This is a better reception than I had in the United States,” he told the newspaper. “It makes you feel that you are truly at home. I know my father did a lot of things to set things up, but it’s just been nothing but warmth.”
Barbados is home to one Olympic medalist — sprinter Obadele Thompson, who took bronze in the 100m in 2000.