DEKALB OLYMPIAN HONORED

 

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Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor to be inducted into Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

During his sophomore year at Southwest DeKalb High School, Angelo Taylor was in his father’s hometown, Macon, visiting the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

“I just remember looking at all of the athletes who were inducted into the hall of fame and I thought to myself, ‘Man, it would be great—if I continue to do well—I could one day be inducted into the hall of fame,’” Taylor said. “But, never did I think I could make it in, really.”

Nearly 23 years later, he did make it in.

The three-time Olympic gold-medal champion will be inducted into the 2018 Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Last month, while at home getting ready for a meeting, the Decatur native received the call he didn’t expect—the call informing him that he would be inducted in the 2018 class.

“I was shocked, for one, and elated on the other hand when I got the news,” he said. “I was just happy that they selected me.”
Taylor said it’s an honor and a great feeling to be inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

“Ever since I’d heard I was being inducted I’ve just been at a loss of words. It’s something that I never really expected or was striving for, however, it’s definitely a great honor.”

Taylor, a 1996 graduate, was a star track athlete at Southwest DeKalb. He won multiple gold medals at the state track and field championship meets in 1995 and 1996, including three individual gold medals in 1996 (300-meter hurdles, 400-meter dash, triple jump). That same year, he won gold in the 400-meter hurdle at the USA Track and Field (USATF) Junior Championships and won bronze at the World Junior Championships.

Taylor attended Georgia Tech on a track scholarship and became a standout athlete there—finishing second in the 400-meter hurdles and third in the 400-meter dash at the 1997 NCAA Outdoor Championship. He was named the Collegiate Athlete of the Year in 1998.

He won his first Olympic gold medal in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, winning the 400-meter hurdles. He won his second individual Olympic gold medal in the hurdles in 2008 in Beijing, China. He also won gold with the 4×400-meter relay team in 2008 and silver with the 4×400-meter relay at the 2012 London Games. He was also a member of the 2004 Olympic team.

He won gold with the 4×400 relay team at the 2000 Sydney Games, but the International Olympic Committee stripped the gold medal from the team in 2008 after three of Taylor’s teammates admitted to using a banned substance.

Taylor has won several medals throughout his career at the USATF Outdoor Championships and the World Outdoor Championships. In 2000, he was named the Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year.

Taylor said his induction into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is high on the list of his athletic accomplishments.
“It ranks right along with me winning my Olympic gold,” he said. “It’s definitely one of my highest achievements. It’s hard to rank it, but it’s definitely at the top.”

Taylor attributed the majority of his success to hard work. He also credited his high school coach, Napoleon Cobb, for his success.

“Coach Cobb has meant a lot to my career,” he said. “He’s definitely one of the coaches [from whom] I got my foundation. He taught me a lot about the sport, he taught us how to win and he taught us how to be champions. He’s definitely influential to my career and deserves a lot of credit for my success.”

Taylor, and seven others, will be inducted during Hall of Fame weekend, scheduled Feb. 23-24, 2018. Other inductees include Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank and former NFL player Champ Bailey.

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