Orlando native and Boone High School graduate Marvin Bracy competed in his first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over the summer. We caught up with him upon his return to find out more about his experiences in representing the United States on the track-and-field team.
Q: Describe your first Olympic Games in three ways.
A: Fun, stressful, life changing
Q: Is there anything you would have done differently when it comes to your performance?
A: I feel like I could have executed better. I kind of let nerves take over throughout the rounds, and it caused me to not be at my best all the way around.
Q: Did you get any advice or learn any lessons from athletes representing other countries that you’ll take with you throughout your track and field career?
A: I didn’t really hang around many other athletes much. But seeing people like Justin Gatlin, people who have been there repeatedly competing at an all-time high when the pressure is on, teaches you something.
Q: What was the atmosphere like in the Olympic Village?
A: In the village itself, it was like everyday life. There was no added pressure until you got to the meet and it was time to get ready for your sport. That’s when I really felt it all take over, especially being new to the Olympics.
Q: What was the energy like at the opening ceremony and how did it feel representing the United States in front of the world in that venue?
A: The opening ceremony was so fun for about the first hour. After that it was rough. I didn’t know we would be standing out there for hours. It was a great experience though. That’s when it really hit me that it was real – I finally made it and it was time to get the Olympics underway.
Q: How did you pump yourself up for your races? Did you have any lucky rituals?
A: I’ve pretty much done the same thing throughout my entire career. I don’t have any serious rituals where I feel like I need to do this before a race. I just spoke to myself. I knew everything I did up to that point was working so it wouldn’t be smart to try to change things.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: This is a world championship year. It’s almost time to get ready for the world championships in London. Right now I’m in my off-season. Track seasons are really long and people don’t realize it. We start training in November and run through September