The Rio Olympics was Justin Gatlin’s 3rd . He was an Olympic Champion in 2004 and a Bronze Medallist in 2012. This year at age 34 he is a Silver Medallist. Gatlin has had a long and much storied career having been banned twice for performance enhancement drugs. He considers himself blessed to be able to go through what he has been through and be able to cop a silver medal at his 3rd Olympics.
“I look at it like this: There are a lot of athletes who don’t make it to one Olympics,” Gatlin said. “I’ve been to three in a span of 12 years” said Gatlin
“He(Kim Collins) inspires me,” said the controversial US sprinter, who has been banned twice for performance-enhancing drugs. “At my age things get a little hazy and I think how long can I go? But you watch someone like Kim Collins who’s still putting out great times, it opens up the door of possibilities for myself and younger athletes to say if you really love the sport and you’re passionate about the sport and stay diligent to yourself and your craft, you can go a long time.”
This year’s Olympics were meant to be about Gatlin giving Usain Bolt his sternest test, in both the 100 and 200.
With a relatively disappointing showing for his own standards in the 200m Rio looks likely to be a turning point for the 34-year-old Gatlin. The years have slipped by and instead of chasing Bolt, he’s aiming to be more like the legendary Sprinter from St.Kitts-Nevis Kim Collins, the 40-year-old sprinter who’s still running, and ran in Rio. With that kind of longevity, maybe Gatlin will make the 2020 Tokyo Games.
“From this point on I’m taking it year by year,” Gatlin said. “I’m going to come out as strong as I can for each year. ……….Kim Collins gives me inspiration for Tokyo,” said Gatlin
Gatlin and Collins have seemingly developed a kinship over their long careers together in Track and field. They ran against each other in the NCAA’s back in the 2000’s and they both ran in the finals of the 2004 Olympics which Gatlin won. Gatlin was a special guest at Kim Collins Summer Kids Camp some years ago back in Collins home country of St.Kitts.