Before the Olympics. Before the 9.69. Before becoming the fastest man in American history, Tyson Gay was 'a country boy from Lexington, Kentucky who just ran for the love of track.' As the only son of three children, Tyson was born to compete. His love for speed was fostered by fierce battles with his older sister who at a year older, was seemingly always a step faster. Their rivalry is what inspired Tyson to chase greatness. Soon he would catch it.
Following a successful high school career, including an unbroken 10.46 state-meet record in 2001 which still stands, Tyson went on to become the first athlete in University of Arkansas history to win the NCAA 100m title. Now, he is also a triple World Champion, an American Record Holder and the second fastest man in history. At the 2007 World Championships, Tyson became the second man in history to win titles at 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay.
In May 2013, during the Jamaica invitational, Tyson tested positive for a banned substance. Praise quickly became persecution, as the USADA placed a one-year ban on Tyson, and stripped him of his 2012 Olympic Silver medal. Although the substance was consumed unbeknownst to Tyson, he humbly accepted the verdict—patiently waiting for the chance to prove the legitimacy of his greatness.
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games is that chance. The biggest stage in the world is set to be the final chapter in Tyson’s fairytale story of speed, rivalry, and redemption. Accusations can be wiped away by gold. America can retake its rightful place on the highest podium. A legacy of historical excellence can be passed to a generation. But to Tyson, this is simply the chance to prove he is who he always said he was: “a country boy from Lexington, Kentucky who just runs for the love of track.”
Join Tyson Gay, his family, and the greatest nation in the World as he takes off for the final time on the Olympic stage.