By LARRY VAUGHT
Coming out of high school in Georgia, Terrence Trammell had more college football scholarship offers than he did for track.
“I played defensive back but a lot of them wanted me to play receiver. I did play both some (in high school)Ol but most of my notoriety came from playing defensive back,” said Trammell, a three-time Olympian and two-time silver medalist in the 100-meter hurdles.
He eventually agreed to run track at South Carolina with the understanding he could play football after two years of track. However, making the Olympic team in 2000 changed that plan.
“After I made my first Olympic team, it was a no-brainer to stick with track,” Trammell, who is in Danville at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy, said Thursday.
He now lives in Atlanta but enjoys coming back to this camp to “get out of the city” and spend time with young athletes.
“It’s just good to come to a nice campus in a nice little town and enjoy nature and share with kids who normally would not have an opportunity to meet an Olympic medalist. I like being able to see the changes they make by being here and learning from us. It means a lot,” the former silver medalist said.
“I remember one year a little girl not running eight steps to the hurdles in her mind. I kept telling her she could but somebody had told her she couldn’t and that bothered me. The words can’t and couldn’t should never come out of a coach’s mouth.
“The camp was literally over and she stayed. I was watching her while I was talking and she finally got it in eight steps and she broke down and cried on the spot. I told her it was just all in her mind and she could do what she wanted to. I hope she applied that example to all facets of her life. To me, that’s the joy out of being here.”
All the camp clinicians are former Olympians or Olympic coaches. But unlike some camps, the clinicians are hands off all day. They stay in dorms just like the campers, eat at the same dining facility and work with groups of no more than 10 to 12 athletes at a time to provide specialized training.
“You have Olympians and world champions who love the sport and have something to offer and see this an opportunity to help kids. Camps like these drew us to wanting to be better athletes, but this camp is special,” Trammell said.