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U.S. Olympic Trials - July 6 Press Conference Quotes - Taylor, Merritt, Orji, Carter


Christian Taylor on a successful last season:

"Last year, Beijing was on fire. I watched it in 2008 and that was a dream for me to be able to go back to the Bird's Nest and really feed off that energy. It was unreal to have all those people cheering and clapping along. It was very special to come out and see the 18.20 mark, 18.21 mark. It was a dream come true. We had confidence and all those vibes just carried over to this year. I came here at Prefontaine and got the world lead and wanted to send a message that I was here to compete and here to fight for an Olympic spot."


Aries Merritt on recovery from kidney transplant:

"There has been discomfort, especially indoor. When I tried to do indoor, I couldn't do it because it was too painful at the time. My body wasn't ready to hit that part of my scar repeatedly over and over at that point of the season since I effectively started training in January. Now I've had many, many more months of training. My body is used to my trail knee doing what it normally does. Everything should be fine."


"Ever since I was able to start back training with a normal body, because being at world championships last year with no kidney function was horrible. Now being able to train and put in the level of consistency and repetitions that I haven't been able to do in the past two years, I feel like everything is better off. There are minor setbacks that happen. Every athlete goes through that. It wouldn't be a journey if we didn't have something. It just can't be perfect all the time."


"It's the Olympic Games. It's like the Super Bowl for track and field. People think that we don't compete but once every four years, which isn't the case. The Olympics is something that everyone sees, whereas the World Championships is something that only a few people see. I think it's really important to live that Olympic dream and try to achieve that Olympic goal of trying to win a gold medal and showing everyone around the world your story and your struggle."


Keturah Orji on competing at the World Indoor Championships:

"I was really excited about competing for USA at World Indoors. It was my first meet against pros and everything. I was really happy with the way I did, and I'm looking forward to improving even more."


Michelle Carter on Team USA in the women's shot put:

"It's been great that the women's shot put has been able to produce many women to be in the top 10 these past couple of years. I've just been really concentrating on my technique and getting my timing together, working on my strength. If I make the team, this will be my third Olympics. This is my third Olympic Trials. I'm taking all the experience that I learned over the years and packaging it up and putting together my best performance and getting ready for the Olympic Games. I feel like it's that time for me to really have my eyes on a medal and not just trying to do my best and making the finals. I really want to win this Olympics."


Taylor on health concerns in Rio de Janeiro:

"I've always said that I trust USA Track & Field and the USOC that they're going to take the precautions that we need to be safe. They wouldn't send us if they were uncomfortable with the numbers [about the risks] and how they can handle the situation."

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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