Behind The Scenes With Nick Symmonds

Nick Symmonds will be the best hope for a U.S. 800m medal at the Olympics. Photo:

The 800m champion isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

It takes confidence to win races, and the recent victor at the U.S. Trials in the 800m event, Nick Symmonds, has plenty of it.

Run Blog Run’s Jon Gugala recently got to spend some “behind the scenes” time with Symmonds.

When Gugala met Symmonds at his home near Springfield, Oregon, the six-time national champion had a rifle and 9mm pistol in various states of disassembly on a table.

Symmonds, who grew up in Idaho, is an outdoorsman. He hunts, kayaks, and surfs.

And he fishes, too. Before Gugala’s visit, the middle-distance ace had been out angling and also using his guns to shoot at targets.

But Symmonds is more than a one-note band. Beyond the outdoor angle, he’s also a spokesman for the sport. After the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, he spontaneously started a Facebook group called “Im [sic] tired of USATF and IAAF crippling our sport.”

The group was originally started after Symmonds’ sponsor, Nike, requested that all its athletes voice their disapproval over the IAAF’s now-reversed ruling on women’s world-record standards for the marathon.

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