Hey there Factorians! I found this online today and thought it would be pretty interesting for some of you track fans out there. For those of you who don’t know Nick Symmonds- he is the man. He is an American middle distance runner who specializes in the 800m, and has represented America in the Olympics and at the World Championships. Symmonds is not an imposing figure, but what he lacks in physical intimidation, he totally makes up for in grit, determination, heart, and all around awesome-ness! I have been a fan of his since my college buddies told me about him coming out of a Division III school (Williamette University- never heard of it until I just read his bio on his website… Sorry Nick!). While in college, Nick won a number of DIII national championships, and wound up getting signed by Nike to be a professional athlete. Since then, he has been able to travel the world, and be a fixture on the international racing scene for about six years now. In sum, he is a great athlete.
But Symmonds is not just a great athlete. He graduated with a Biochemistry degree, and happens to be pretty darn smart. Recently, he has decided to take the USA Track and Field Association, and the International Associations of Athletics Federations to task over their ludicrous rules regarding sponsorships. Now, track and field athletes are not exactly what you would call, “well paid,” in comparison to other professional sports. I have an old teammate, former All-American javelin thrower, who won a national title in 2008, but despite his amazing performance, got next to nothing in return for training for his country to represent against the rest of the world. What is he supposed to do? Starve so he can throw? Did not work out. My buddy couldn’t get any local businesses to sponsor him, because who wants to sponsor an athlete who is not allowed to advertise on his/her meet day clothing? This is the predicament that Symmonds articulates perfectly. If you click on this link you can read the plight of the modern day runner.
I would love to hear readers thoughts on what is going on! Let’s keep the conversation going, Sneaker Factorians!!