By LARRY VAUGHT
Every year one of my highlights at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College is the opening program where the various Olympians who are working as camp clinicians tell a little bit of their history to the campers.
But this year it was even more fascinating on Wednesday when camp opened with a record attendance because there were TWO CURRENT WORLD RECORD HOLDERS serving as clinicians.
Kevin Young, a camp regular who lives in Atlanta, won the 400-meter hurdles at the 1992 Olympics in 46.78 seconds. That was a stunning time because no one had ever broke 47 seconds. However, in the 27 years since that effort, no one has beat his record yet.
He joked that he might not be the G.O.A.T. — greatest of all time — but he is the F.O.A.T — fastest of all time.
Young enjoys himself as much as the campers and you’ll get a chance to hear him when he joins me on WKYB (107.5 FM, wkybfm.com) Friday at 8:30 a.m.
The other world record holder at Centre College is long jumper Mike Powell. He leaped 29 feet, 4 1/4 inches at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo to break Bob Beamon’s 23-year-old record. Now 28 years later, he still has the record.
His main rival was the legendary Carl Lewis — and Powell still has second thoughts about missing an Olympic gold medal by inches. He won the silver medal in both 1988 and 1992. On top of that, he has the longest non-legal jump — it was wind aided — of 29 feet, 5 3/4 inches at a meet in Italy.
Powell has an infectious personality that let him relate to the middle school and high school athletes immediately — and he didn’t even mind poking a little playful fun at the other Olympians.
I can’t wait to watch both Young and Powell share their knowledge today and Friday with the campers — and hope they won’t mind an old guy wanting to listen to what they have to say as well because how often do you get a chance to be around TWO WORLD RECORD HOLDERS at the same time.