As the reigning world champion in the 110M hurdles, Cedar Hill's Jason Richardson looks to add another title to his biography -- Olympic champion.
He took advantage of that opportunity Tuesday with his first qualifying race. Richardson came in first in the second round of heats, crossing the finish line with a time of 13.33. He will move on to the semifinal in the 100m hurdles happening on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 1:15 p.m. CST.
The 26-year-old now resides in Los Angeles, but calls Cedar Hill home. In an email interview, Richardson answered a few questions about his childhood, becoming an Olympic athlete, and his life and career:
On growing up in Cedar Hill:
"Life in Cedar Hill is the best. Having lived there all of my life, it's an interesting blend of rural and urban environments, but most of all, I get to call it home."
On his many personalities:
"Personally, I believe that we are the sum total of our experiences, and it's a disservice to put ourselves into a box. I learned early on that I'm allowed to be whomever and whatever I want to be in life, including a basket case who hosts several personalities. I host a distinguished gentlemen who enjoys reading classics and cognac, an older white lady who loves The Golden Girls (my sister and I favorite show), a rebelling youth who itches at the ideas of authority, and a spandex-wearing Superhero who wants to save the world through track and field."
On choosing the hurdles:
"I fell in love with hurdling because it is track and field -- the speed of track and the jumping of field. What I loathe about hurdling can be answered by the battle wounds on my knees and shins. Hurdling has unfortunately thwarted my plans of being a leg model. While others wanted to be ballistic sprinters, I wanted to defy gravity and full speed and become a hurdler."
'I love the art of competing in and of itself. The individuality of track and field means you live and die by your own efforts. I stand on the shoulders of a great family, coach, and faith and in the end my passion for competing has been a major player in my success."
On pre-meet rituals:
"I try to keep myself calm before the athletic storm through Gospel music and light meditation. My talent is a gift from God and what I do with those talents are my gifts to God."
On being an Olympian:
"The Olympics are the highest platform of our sport and to become an Olympian is a culmination of all the hard work that goes into being a professional athlete. To be an Olympian is to dream while being awake! When I'm a trillion years old, swinging on a southern porch, it will be these moments I'll share to my grandkids."
On finding inspiration:
"I draw from any and everything I come across. My family is incredibly supportive, so much so that they are the Richardson cornerstone, always in my corner and firm like stone. I'm also a faith-based runner who acknowledges the divinity in the athletic experiences. Lastly, my coach, John Smith, and my training partners all contribute to a championship culture that makes winning commonplace and not foreign."
You can watch the live stream competition of Richardson's 110M hurdle semifinal on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 1:15 p.m. CST.