Olympian Nick Symmonds speaks to students


From left: Joel Steinberg, Chanan Batra, Nick Symmonds, Andrew Redston, Alex Rohani


Chanan Batra, Print Sports Editor
On Tuesday, May 15, Nick Symmonds, a four-time US 800 meter champion and member of the 2008 US Olympic Squad in Beijing, China, visited the track team to offer advice and insight.  Among the topics discussed were his upbringing, his mental approach to races and his training regimen.
In a Q&A session on the Beverly track, Symmonds described life as a young runner growing up in a relatively rural Idaho town.
“I would do my long runs through cow pastures and my ‘ice baths’ in the local creek,” Symmonds said.
Symmonds was relatable to many of the members of the track team in that he was a multi-sport athlete in high school.  In addition to running, Symmonds played soccer and hockey.
Junior Sydney Segal found Symmonds’ success as a runner, in addition to playing other sports, inspiring.
“A lot of times the really successful runners dedicated their entire high school life to running,” Segal said.  “However, like me, Nick Symmonds played three sports, and it is cool to know that you can one day be a national champion in track even if (track) isn’t the only sport you did in high school.”
In addition to discussing his upbringing, Symmonds explained how he mentally prepared for his races and offered advice for Beverly track athletes on race day.
“My races are usually in the night, so on the day of races I like to think about anything but track,” Symmonds said.  “However, once I get on the bus to get to the meet, my headphones are on and it’s all business.”
Senior Andrew Redston found this preparation technique particularly helpful on the days of his CIF races.
“Normally I would’ve gotten worked up thinking about my race all day,” Redston said.  “But after Nick Symmonds talked to us, I stayed more relaxed, and it worked out well for me.”
Lastly, Nick explained his training regimen during the track season.  When asked whether he gets Sundays off like the athletes on Beverly’s track team, Symmonds laughed and responded, “Oh no, no off days for me.  I’m training seven days a week, whether it be hot, cold, raining or snowing.”
Symmonds is currently sponsored by Nike and trains in Eugene, Ore., with the Oregon Elite Track Club.  He is training to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics and represent the U.S. in London, England this July.