As the 2008 Summer Olympics open tonight in Beijing, Jeremy Wariner is one of four former Baylor track stars gunning for the gold. Darold Williamson and Reggie Witherspoon will join Wariner in competing for the U.S., while Bayano Kamani competes for Panama.
But it’s Wariner who is earning the most press. He will again compete in the 400 meters and the 4×400-meter relay after winning gold medals in both events at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Track stars don’t get quite the notoriety of some other sports’ athletes, but do tend to get incredible coverage every four years when the Olympics roll around, starting with practically round-the-clock coverage on the NBC family of stations.
In Wariner’s case, not only was he named the No. 8 athlete in the world earlier this year in a Wall Street Journal study, but he’s also the subject of a well-written feature in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine. Adidas created this three-minute commercial featuring Wariner (with a 30-second variation ready for airing as well) and even worked with Wariner to design his own shoe, the Lone Star, that complements his unique style of running.
We’ll keep you posted as Wariner, Williamson (4×400 relay), Witherspoon (4×400 relay) and Kamani (400m hurdles) take on the world’s best this month in Beijing.
Sic ’em, Baylor Olympians!