Olympic athlete Marvin Bracy-Williams shares his journey as a track star

The track and field star shares his story in the sports world
Olympic athlete Marvin Bracy-Williams shares his journey as a track star
Photo courtesy of Marvin Bracy-Williams

Marvin Bracy-Williams is an American sprinter and former American football wide receiver. Williams has had a dual career in sports, excelling in football and track and field, but has managed to stay resilient throughout his journey. His greatest success has come in track and field, as he participated in the 2016 Olympics, and is the 7th fastest sprinter in USA history and the 14th fastest sprinter in the world.

Williams spoke with rolling out about his career, transitioning between two sports, and his Olympics experience.

What interested you in sports?

I’ve been playing football since I was six years old. I always told myself I was going to the NFL, that was always my goal. When I got to high school, I didn’t play football my freshman year. I was on JV my sophomore year, and at the end of my sophomore year, I started running track just because. I ended up winning the state championship and colleges started looking at me. Then I ended up getting on the spring football team that year, and I scored two or three touchdowns in the spring game. That’s when all of the football departments started getting in contact with me and I played on the varsity team my junior year. That was my first year playing wide receiver and I made some progress, and then I ended up playing in the Under Armor game my senior year. I finished as a four-star recruit.

How did you transition between football to track and field?

Because I had been better at track and field, I knew what I was getting myself into, but it was definitely different. It was a whole lifestyle change. Track and field has a lot of downtime. I started when I was 19 years old, and I was living on my own and taking care of myself. I could do what I want, go where I want, and see who I want, but it wasn’t very conducive to what I was trying to get done. I wasn’t living like a professional athlete, I was still kind of living like a college kid being a professional track runner. The adjustment was hard, and it took me years to get used to it. It took me walking away from track and field to understand what it took to be where I am now.

How was your Olympics experience?

Getting in was the easy part, but making the team had to be one of the most stressful situations I think I’ve ever been in. I had a hernia in 2016, and since surgery was going to sideline me for an extended period, I kept taking cortisone shots to numb the pain. I got through it, and I put together three great rounds at the American trials. It was some of my greatest work. I worked hard to get there, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.

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