Triple Jump Champion Christian Taylor Opens Up After Missing Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 07/13/2021, 7:42 AM EDT
TOPSHOT – USA’s Christian Taylor celebrates winning the Men’s Triple Jump Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)


Christian Taylor was in the form of his life and triple jumping his way into yet another potential Olympic Gold in Tokyo. Having already won it in London (2012) and Rio (2016), the athlete was ready to bag his third consecutive gold in Japan. However, an unperceivable accident saw him miss out on the Olympics this year entirely. 

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Taylor was good until May until he attended an event in Ostrava. There, in a moment of madness, his foot left the jump board and saw him look in disbelief around him. The jump was unlike anything he had ever done before and every spectator knew something was wrong the moment they saw it. 

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The athlete had ruptured his Achilles tendon and just like that, Tokyo vanished from his sights. With an injury like this, careers are derailed, and Christian Taylor recalled waking up in a hospital in Germany, where he had gone for immediate surgery.

“Believe it or not, that was the surgeon’s first question. Once I woke up, of course he asked, “Do you know who I am?” and all these things to make sure I was in the mental sane space, back to my awareness,” Taylor said, speaking to Track & Field News. “But then he said, “Have you ever considered jumping off your left leg?”

USA’s Christian Taylor competes in the Men’s Triple Jump Final during the athletics competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. / AFP / Adrian DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Taylor had spent 10 years of his career jumping off the left foot. His original combination was Left-Left-Right for the triple jump. However, he recently changed it to Right-Right-Left to cope with already existing injuries and to get a stronger final jump. “There’s no way I could go back,” Taylor said.

Christian Taylor sees the injury as a blessing in disguise

Using the aid of stretchers currently, Taylor is confident he can get back into the game soon. At 31 years of age, he believes he isn’t done yet and sees this time off as a blessing. “Now I can take the time to maybe strengthen it and make it stronger than it ever was before,” he explained.

Although the Tokyo Dream came crashing down, Christian Taylor has his sights on the World Championship next year at Eugene, Oregon. He will be defending his own position at the top, but sadly won’t get to do the same in Tokyo. 

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“On top of that, it’s now I have to set my eyes towards Paris [2024]. But this was very difficult because, again, just with the momentum carrying off of Doha and the championships leading up to this point, I just thought these were going to be the Games,” he said. “You know, I can’t say my Games because it’s never a given, but the Games where triple jump could have been a big, big battle.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Gold medalist Christian Taylor of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s Triple Jump on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

His close rival in the sport Will Claye is now the favorite to win Gold in Tokyo. Having won silver in 2012 and 2106, he finally has the opening to make that into a gold medal. Rest assured, Christian Taylor will be back to see him next year if the recovery goes to plan. 

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Luke Dias

1479 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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