4-time World Long champion Dwight Phillips, flanked by WR holder Mike Powell and former WR holder Bob Beamon (Philippe Fitte) © Copyright

Dwight Phillips: " I will turn things around when I need to turn them around" - IAAF Online Diaries


“Just to bring everyone up to date with how I'm feeling, I was obviously disappointed with how I have been jumping at the start of this season.

“You know, I haven’t competed in two years and when you return to competition, you always have high expectations. Sometimes it goes really well and sometimes it doesn’t go so well.

“Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone as well as I had anticipated, but this year everything is about preparing for the World Championships and being ready when I get to Moscow.

“Any time I compete, I expect to win, and when you don’t, you have to go back to the drawing board and see where you went wrong and make the proper adjustments.

“I wasn’t so nervous at the meets. It’s difficult returning after such a long wait, and having to deal with major Achilles surgery makes it even harder. The guys I am competing against have been preparing all their lives for these meets. In my mind, I felt no matter if was out of the sport four years, I could come back and start winning. That’s just my mentality.

“I am an optimistic person by nature.  I will turn things around when I need to turn them around.

“My manager Caroline Feith has been recording all of my jumps and I saw some things I did wrong, just rushing everything, I know I have a few months to prepare for Russia and get my speed and power intact. I am confident I will be ready.

“The World Championships is definitely the pinnacle of everything for me.  It’s important because I want to make history and become the first American to win five individual World Championships gold medals.

“Hopefully I can influence some of our younger generation of jumpers so they can jump far as well.

“It’s been busy on all fronts lately. My two boys are seven and six now. They are my pride and joy, the most important people on the planet and, whenever, I have to leave them it’s difficult. But I know they are cheering me on: ‘Dad’ is the superman, the greatest hero on earth to them.

“We were talking about superheroes and I asked one of them, ‘Who is your biggest hero?’ He said, ‘Daddy you are. You are my favourite hero.” I felt like, ‘Don’t make me cry.’ I am not a sentimental guy but that right there almost brought tears to my eyes.

“I have also been doing some corporate videos for some clients and that has been a lot of fun. I am starting another company that will manufacture apparel I am excited about that.

“Really, I am on the edge internally but outside I have to keep cool. Trust me; I am always on the edge. When you are an athlete, you want to continue to have success. You are always thinking, ‘What can I do next’.

“To be ready for nationals, I have to get my rhythm back. My technique, I study daily, I have pinpointed things I need to address. I have three or four weeks until the US trials but I have already made the World Championships because I won in Daegu two years ago. The reigning champion gets a bye.

“However, my goal is to go out and win the nationals though, because it will be my last one; that will give me a lot of momentum going into the World Championships.

“I will do indoors next year but this is probably my last outdoor season. Now I intend to turn things around.

“That’s all for now, Dwight.”