Olympic Hopeful Q&A: Ed Wright

June 19, 2008

Berkeley - Olympic Hopeful Q&A: Ed Wright

CalBears.com caught up with high jumper Ed Wright before the recent NCAA Outdoor Championships to talk about his goal of competing in the Summer Olympics.

CalBears.com: What's the biggest sacrifice you've had to make to try to reach the Olympics?

Wright: 'I don't think I've had to make a huge sacrifice because this is something that I love to do. I've always put this first because I love the sport so much, so I can't say that I've sacrificed something else. Maybe my relationships with friends, and not being able to go out as much, but I want this so bad that I don't feel like I'm putting something else on the back burner for it.'

CalBears.com: What are you looking forward to the most in Beijing if you make the team?

Wright: 'First I have to make it there; I think that's the biggest thing. I think the opening ceremony would be the most memorable. That's kind of like the highlight of the Games, besides the actual competition. Just to be in that environment would be a dream come true.'

CalBears.com: How challenging is it to be in school, compete at Cal and train for the Olympics?

Wright: It hasn't been too challenging. I think during my freshman and sophomore years it was a bit difficult because I didn't understand the system of traveling. Once I got used to the system, I learned how to manage my time a lot better, and now it's not too big of a problem.

CalBears.com: When did your dream of being in the Olympics become a realistic goal?

Wright: 'When I was deciding where to go to school, I knew that track was an option in college, and that's kind of when the dream was formed. When I was younger, I always looked at the Olympic Games as something that I thought I could be good at. When I actually became pretty decent at an Olympic event, then the dream started growing. At the end of the season last year, I knew this was something I could make something of myself with. I thought, If I push myself hard enough and really keep my goals lined up, then going to the Olympics is something that maybe I can accomplish.'

CalBears.com: How much has Cal helped you try to attain this dream?

Wright: 'Cal has helped me a lot, definitely the athletic program and especially my coach, Ed Miller. He's been the root of a lot of my success at Cal. He's not only helped me on the track, but off the track as well. He's helped me grow and mature and learn lessons from him, while staying humble and being professional. Cal has definitely had something to do with that, but I would give a lot of that respect to coach Miller. He's been my main mentor. I've learned a lot from a lot of people, but coach Miller has definitely been the key figure who I've tried to be like.'

CalBears.com: What is your favorite memory of a past Olympics?

Wright: 'I remember in the 1996 Olympics, Dan O'Brien's decathlon, that was pretty special. Watching that decathlon really got me excited about the sport of track and field. I'm a huge basketball fan so of course I remember the 1992 and 1996 Dream Teams. Those are teams that I'll always remember because I love basketball so much, but it was Dan O'Brien's decathlon that really sparked my interest in wanting to go to the Olympics so bad.'

CalBears.com: How did you first become interested in your sport?

Wright: 'It was my freshman year of high school. I was at basketball practice and the high jump coach walked in and said, `You're my guy; I need you to high jump for me.' I tried it and I didn't like it. I wasn't going to go out for it my sophomore year. I had no fun doing it, but I went out for it during my sophomore year and I got better at it. I got better and better, and started enjoying it a lot more. I started taking it more seriously. Eventually, I developed a passion for it.'

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