Athens 2004

Getty Images

Jeremy Wariner a longshot for 4th Olympic team 12 years after gold medal

Leave a comment

The Olympic champion 12 years ago, Jeremy Wariner is not done with his track career just yet. His injuries have made more headlines than his times the past few years, but the 32-year-old thinks he has one more Olympics in him.

He’ll compete in the 400m at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials this weekend hoping to make a fourth Olympic team. Preliminary rounds for his event start Friday. He’ll likely need to post his best time in five years to earn a berth.

Wariner took gold in the 400m at the 2004 Athens Games with a time of 44.00 seconds. He followed with world titles in 2005 (43.93) and 2007 (43.45, the fifth-fastest time ever).

Wariner was upset at the 2008 Beijing Games by compatriot LaShawn Merritt, who crossed nearly a second ahead (43.75 to 44.74). But the silver was Wariner’s third of four Olympic medals (he also won gold in the 4x400m relay in both Athens and Beijing).

He qualified for the 2012 London Games only for the relay squad, but ultimately had to pull out after tearing his hamstring while training in London. He returned to win an indoor national title in 2013, but his outdoor times haven’t gone under 44 seconds since 2012.

Wariner’s fastest time in 2016 is 45.55. That’s well behind Merritt’s top American time of 44.22. In fact, 22 American men have posted better 400m times than Wariner this season.

But if he can finish in the top three at Trials, he’ll go to Rio. The third-fastest time for a U.S. 400m runner this year is 44.88 by Gil Roberts. If that’s the time to meet or beat, Wariner hasn’t gone that low since 2011. He could also earn another spot only on the relay team.

As a husband and father of three children, Wariner has begun to look at life after running. According to LetsRun.com, he’s running a Jimmy John’s franchise in Dallas.

Part of the reason he chose Jimmy John’s, Wariner said, was because the restaurant’s slogan is “Freaky fast.” That’s how he’ll need to run this weekend if he wants to run in Rio.

NBC 5 News in Dallas featured Wariner this week:

Nike ‘Just Do It: Greece’ video uses vacated Athens 2004 Olympic venues

Leave a comment

Nike put Greek Olympic hopefuls against the backdrop of vacated Athens 2004 Olympic venues in a powerful ad published last week.

“We will not be defined by circumstance,” a narrator read in Greek, according to the video’s captions. “We will not be undone by what is broken. We are more than our surroundings. We are the makers of our fate.”

The ad stars Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and World bronze medalist pole vaulter Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou, among others.

The Greek men’s basketball team can qualify for the Olympics at a last-chance, winner-take-all tournament in Italy in July.

MORE: Athens Olympic venues reopen for refugees

Athens 2004 Olympic venues reopen for refugees

Galatsi Olympic Hall
AP
Leave a comment

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Authorities in Greece have reopened a disused Olympic venue to house migrants and refugees camped out in central Athens.

Police on Thursday escorted buses carrying about 500 people, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, from Victoria Square in central Athens to the mothballed Galatsi Olympic Hall.

It was used for table tennis and rhythmic gymnastics during the 2004 Athens Games, and is the second major Olympic venue to reopened to accommodate refugees in recent weeks.

Yiannis Mouzalas, a migration affairs minister, promised to try to swiftly improve management of the crisis to avoid “local residents becoming susceptible to extremist, racist, xenophobic views.”

Local residents and an anti-racism group held small protests at the square Thursday, urging the government to do more to ease the effects of the crisis.

FLASHBACK VIDEO: Usain Bolt at the Athens 2004 Olympics