hometown hopefuls

‘I've Got More in the Tank': TCU Alum Hopes to Sprint His Way to Olympic Gold

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Ronnie Baker knows what it takes to win. The former Texas Christian University standout was a 12-time All-American with many other accolades after graduating from TCU. Now, he’s looking for his next achievement: An Olympic gold medal in the men's 100 meters at the Tokyo Olympics.

“God made it happen,” Baker said. “I kind of expected to be on the team. I was super overjoyed just to compete well and do what I was supposed to do."

Baker posted a personal best time of 9.85 at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Oregon in June, but he said, that is just the beginning.

“I believe I still have more in the tank as far as what I can do and what I can accomplish, but yea I feel like I did my best at those moments,” Baker said.

It’s been a journey he said has not come easy. His first Olympic experience will be different than anything the world has ever seen. A global pandemic has altered the landscape of the Tokyo Olympics, but Baker said the mission is still the same.

"You’ve got nine seconds to prove yourself. To get everything right. There are no stumbles. There are no start overs, and this is the moment,” Baker said.

Baker and his coach agree he got out of the blocks late at the trials. A start that nearly cost him a spot on the Olympic team.

“I was like, ‘Whoa! I’m a little behind here. I think my reaction time was slow. Out of the eight guys, I was second to last to leave the blocks. I was like, don’t panic, but you need to do something right now to get back in the race,” Baker said.

He said he is confident in his ability but wishes his family and friends could be there to see it in person. Pandemic restrictions mean that no foreign spectators will be allowed at Olympic venues. There is some good news for Baker though. He said he is thankful Olympic organizers are going to allow a limited number of local fans in.

"Being able to perform in front of somebody to display what you have been working on, that’s going to be so important. Yes, I want my family to be there, but I’m excited there are going to be anybody in the stands," Baker said.

NBC 5 is your station for all things Olympics starting with the Opening Ceremony on July 23.

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