Two-time Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor is not just vying for another at this year’s summer games—he is trying to make history.
The 33-year-old track and field star earned gold medals in 2000 and 2008 in the 400-meter hurdles competition, and if he brings home a third, he will be the first to win three medals in the Olympic 400-meter hurdles race.
“I’m trying to make history,” Angleo said. “I’m trying to do something nobody’s ever done before. That’s what drives me.”
Angelo, an Atlanta native, decided he wanted to compete in the Olympics after the games were hosted in Atlanta in 1996. He won his first gold medal at the 2000 Olympics, his first time ever at the games.
“Being from Atlanta, Ga., having the Olympic games come to my backyard really inspired me,” he said. “[And] just a mere four years later I’m participating…I felt like I was on top of the world. It was such a surreal experience. Such a surreal feeling.”
However, he didn’t get to have that same feeling at the next games.
“In 2004 I went to the games and didn’t medal at all. I was disappointed about that.”
Going into the 2008 Olympics he was viewed as the underdog, but was able to go back and win the gold for a second time, in what he calls a "sweet victory."
With the Olympic trials starting this weekend, and the games beginning next month, Angelo is confident that he will be able to bring home the gold for a third time.
“Based on my shape and past performances, I’m feeling really good. I’m feeling just like I did in ’08,” he said.
And although he is older than many of his competitors, he sees it as an advantage, instead of a disadvantage like some of his critics may think.
“I definitely know how to handle myself. I know what to expect. I let my experience go into play.”
In addition to his experience, he has his family and friends pushing him to move forward, including his 7-year-old twin sons, Isaiah and Xzaviah, who will be in London cheering him on.
“I’ve got so much support and people behind me, pushing me,” he said. “I really want to make history, but set a good example for my sons.”