Phillips Idowu, triple jumper

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"Everything I do is generated towards performing well," says the Olympic silver medal winning triple jumper.

Raise Your Game: It seems that everything you do, you do with a smile on your face. Is that true?

Phillips Idowu: I enjoy what I'm doing. I've had a lot of difficult times with injuries, but I think I'm past that now. I've worked really hard this year. I know I've done the work and I know I'm in great shape, so when I'm down there competing I can enjoy myself.

I can afford to smile and laugh. I like to get the crowd involved because that's what the event's about. If you can't enjoy what you do for a living then why are you doing it?

RYG: Some young people say, 'Look, I've had bad times and there's no point in going on because I can't get any better,' what advice would you give them?

Profile

Name:
Phillips Idowu

Born:
30 December 1978

From:
London

Event:
Triple jump

Achievements:

  • Gold - European Championships, Barcelona (2010)
  • Named men's European Athlete of the Year 2009
  • Gold - Aviva British Grand Prix, Gateshead (2009)
  • Gold - IAAF World Athletics Championships, Berlin (2009)
  • Silver - Beijing Olympics, China (2008)
  • Gold - World Indoor Championships, Valencia (2008)
  • Gold - European Indoor Championships, Birmingham (2007)
  • Gold - Commonwealth Games, Melbourne (2006)
  • Silver - Commonwealth Games, Manchester (2002)

PI: Only stop if you stop enjoying the good times as well as the bad. I've always believed in my ability. I've always felt that I was going to come through and jump a lot better, so I just kept on going.

I stayed positive and came out the other side, and it was all worth it. I'm loving it now! All the injuries and stuff doesn't make a dent on my memory right now.

RYG: How disciplined are you in terms of training to be at this level?

PI: A lot. You have to sacrifice so much. This is my life. Everything I do is generated towards performing well. When I eat, when I sleep, if I go out, everything just works towards that performance on the day. It is a lot of sacrifice, but for me it's worth it. I couldn't see myself doing anything else.

RYG: When you hear the crowds cheering for you how does it make you feel?

PI: For a long time people have had high expectations of me. They want me to go out and perform well, and there have been times when I've let them down. Whether it was due to an injury or just under performing, I let them down.

For me, it's nice to go out there and be able to pay them back. They flew over to France to watch me compete so I want them to see me being successful.


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