Jason Richardson celebrates after his run in the Men's 110 Meter Hurdles Semi-Final on day nine of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at the Hayward Field on June 30, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon.
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.