TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Twelve current or former University of Alabama athletes will compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. One of those is freshman sprinter Jereem Richards who will run in the 4 x 400 meter relay, representing his home country of Trinidad and Tobago. The Rio Olympics are a dream come true for Richards.

“I was watching the Olympics as a little boy, and I looked to this guy from my country called Ato Boldon,” Richards said. “He’s basically one of the biggest athletes in Trinidad and Tobago, and I really looked up to him even before I started running track and field, and since that day I remember telling my dad I wanted to be just like Ato Boldon and compete in the Olympics and represent Trinidad and Tobago, and to actually achieve this goal right now is really a great, great, great achievement because I’ve been working for this since day one.”

Someone who knows a thing or two about the Olympics is Alabama swimming coach Dennis Pursley.
Pursley is a former team director of Team USA, a head coach of the British swimming team and a American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Hall of Famer so he has particular advice for Alabama athletes about to compete in Rio.

“The spot light and the attention and the excitement and the enthusiasm,” Pursley explained, “All of those things can either work to your advantage or work against you, and I think the trick is just to be prepared for anything and know how to respond in a way that it’s going to advantage you over the competition rather then let it kind of pull you out of your game.”

The Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony is Friday.

Categories: Sports