CoachUp Coach Antwon Hicks to run at the Rio Olympics
(Shoutout to Making of Champions for their awesome photo + video!)
CoachUp is excited to announce that Antwon Hicks, a member of our family and exceptional CoachUp Coach, has qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Hicks, who will be competing in the Men's 110m Hurdles event for Nigeria, has worked extremely hard to accomplish his goals and we're excited to see his dreams come true. We were fortunate enough to chat with Antwon before he set off for Rio and asked him about his experiences, running, and his journey to Rio! Check out our interview with him after watching his Rio-clinching victory:
CoachUp: What was the feeling like after successfully qualifying for the Rio Olympics? Have you ever experienced anything like that before?
Antwon Hicks: It was a huge relief to finally qualify for the Olympics, especially with only having one more opportunity to get it done. I have never, in my 25 year Track + Field career, been under that much pressure.
CU: Qualifying for the Rio Olympics was no easy task, as you are familiar with, but what is your message for a young athlete dreaming of representing their own country in the Olympics?
AH: I would tell a young athlete that becoming an Olympian is something that is earned, they must be dedicated and willing to consistently do all the things necessary to reach that status -- it certainly will not be handed to you.
CU: Did you have a coach or mentor that helped you develop into the athlete you are today?
AH: I've had several great coaches help me throughout my career but my wife, Shareese Hicks, who is also a CoachUp Coach, taught me the value of sacrifice and teamwork. She was willing to sacrifice her dream of becoming an Olympian in order to fully support me on my journey and I wouldn't have made it without her.
CU: What have you learned about yourself from being a CoachUp Coach and helping other athletes grow, both physically and mentally?
AH: From running, I've learned how to deal with ups and downs in life. Being a CoachUp Coach has allowed me to pass along my experiences to help other athletes be successful. After my career in running is done, knowing that I passed on some of my knowledge to the next generation will be a fantastic feeling.
CU: What does representing Nigeria at the Rio Olympics truly mean to you? What does it mean to your family and friends?
AH: It is an honor to represent Nigeria after being on such a long journey to become an Olympian. My family and friends are very proud of me because I never gave up on my goal, even when the odds were stacked against me.
CU: What was the biggest adversity that you have faced? How did you overcome it?
AH: My biggest adversity was definitely learning to overcome a debilitating achilles injury that had me sidelined for the past couple of years, as it almost kept me from fulfilling my Rio Olympic dreams. I overcame it by not giving up and keeping a positive attitude, but make no mistake, my strong support system kept me encouraged as well.
CU: What are you most looking forward to at the Rio Olympics? Have you built any lasting relationships with other athletes in the qualifying process so far?
AH: I just want to perform at my best in Rio and win a medal by God's grace. I haven't gotten a chance to build any lasting relationships yet with my teammates, but, in Rio, I think that will change. I'll be rooting for everyone and there will be tons of downtime to get to know my fellow Olympians. Coach Antwon will be competing on Monday, August 15th -- so be sure to tune in and cheer him on! Antwon's story is a much-needed reminder that if you work hard and never give up, you can reach your goals -- no matter how big or small they are! If you're looking for a Coach to help you reach another level, click the button below to start your journey with CoachUp. On behalf of the entire CoachUp family, we wish you the best of luck, Antwon!