|DeKalb’s Olympics track stars inspire youths|
DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis wanted to let young people know that they, too, can reach for the stars and grab one or maybe even two with hard work.
So, he held a celebration in downtown Decatur recently to show off a pair of shining examples—DeeDee Trotter and Angelo Taylor, the two DeKalb track stars who won medals this summer at the 2012 Olympic Games held in London.
As Trotter, 29, and Taylor, 33, stood before a cheering crowd, they beamed with pride at a sea of faces that included kids from their respective alma maters, Cedar Grove High School and Southwest DeKalb High School.
“I never envisioned myself standing here with gold medals around my neck. It was not always my dream. But no matter what I committed to, I gave it my all,” Trotter said. “You may not know exactly what you want to do yet, but when you find out, give it your all everyday of the week.”
Said Taylor: “I know I might be an inspiration to some of you, but it’s actually some of your stories that inspire me and push me to go out to be a great representative of DeKalb County and the Country, competing against some of the best athletes in the world.”
This summer, Taylor won silver in the 4x400-meter relay in London. He won gold medals in the 400 hurdles at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Trotter won a gold medal in the 4x400-meter relay and a bronze medal—her first individual medal—in the 400-meter race. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, she won gold as part of the U.S. 4x400-meters relay team.
Now, Trotter is already training for the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And she is modeling in the W Fitness Division for the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency in New York. The W Fitness Division focuses on health, wellness and fitness and sports industries representing a wide range of talent including hosts and professional athletes.
Taylor, meanwhile, is keeping his options open.
“I’m not sure about competing in the next Olympics just yet. I really just want to focus on helping the next generation and becoming a track coach, but we’ll see what happens,” said Taylor.