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U.S. Olympic Trials - June 29 Press Conference Quotes - Ashton Eaton, Allyson Felix & Justin Gatlin

6/29/2016
 

On the pressure at Trials

Allyson Felix: “Trials is hard. It's this huge thing you have to get through. A lot of times you do feel like it's this bigger thing than even the Olympic Games. A lot of other people from other countries, they don't have that pressure that you have to go through here. It's the hardest team to make and everything has to click on that specific day.”


Justin Gatlin: “When you think about Olympic Trials, it's all about dreams, making dreams happen. It's not just a regular race around the world somewhere. These people are running with dreams in their eyes. They want to go out there and make it happen. That’s when people are the most deadly. They’d do whatever it takes to get across the line.”

 

Ashton Eaton: “Maybe a byproduct of the Trials is the people who have made the team have now been through that and then once you do go to the Games with the people who have made it, now they have some extra tools mentally that they can use on the bigger stage.”


On memorable moments at Hayward Field

Eaton: “Being from Oregon, I went to high school about two hours from here. When I was in high school I liked doing sports. You always saw football and basketball on TV, but I didn't understand what track and field could be. My coach actually brought me to the Prefontaine Classic...I had no idea that track could be like this.”


“Running [the 1500m at 2012 Olympic Trials], I was nervous for the first two laps, and after that it was honestly [the] crowd. I would say that's the first time that I actually felt what they call the Hayward Magic. Any other time before that, I've always felt some kind of energy from the crowd, but nothing that actually made my running easier.”

 

Felix: “Trials [in 2012] in the 200 was probably the most special one I've had, just being able to run my PR and just a really special race where things were clicking. That magic is definitely real.”


Gatlin on how sprinting has changed since his first Olympic Games

“The evolution of sprinting, I think you have a lot of athletes who look at the end result and they're happy with putting on the uniform and being labeled a sprinter. Now you have a lot of athletes who are coming up and understand the grit and the honor to be a sprinter and how tough you have to be. You see that in guys like Trayvon [Bromell]. For him to go out and win indoors like he did and he wasn’t even the clear favorite to win. He pulled it off. To be able to do something like that, that shows the mark of a champion, a fighter.”

 

Felix on injury recovery

“For me, I’m a fighter. It was going to take a whole lot not to get me here. I'm going to give it everything I have. My goals are the same. I want to make the team in both events. I'm going to leave it on the track. I’m definitely optimistic. That's just a part of who I am. This is something none of us saw coming, an obstacle in the road, but I think that’s the thing about challenges, you get creative and you figure out how to go through them. It's been a year of adversity and I feel like I can overcome.”




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