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Two-time Olympic triple jump champion Taylor will soon spring into retirement

AP – Every leap these days feels more like a stroll down memory lane for triple jumper Christian Taylor.

This is the two-time Olympic champion’s farewell tour and he’s taking it all in. That includes selfies at every stop – from Norway to Morocco and especially this week in Oregon for the United States (US) track trials.

It’s here, at Hayward Field, where Taylor made his first Olympic team in 2012. It’s here, on Friday, where he starts his bid to make his third in his final season. Whatever happens, it’s been quite a ride for the 34-year-old whose career also includes four world championship titles and coming within eight centimetres – about the length of a credit card – of breaking the world record.

That was after learning how to take off on the other leg due to a knee injury, which is essentially like a pitcher switching throwing hands mid-career.

“More than just the achievements, all the people that have believed in me and supported me, it’s beyond what I could’ve imagine,” Taylor said. Taylor never got the chance to defend his Olympic title at the Tokyo Games in 2021. Because a month before trials, he tore his Achilles tendon. He thought it might be the end of the road.

“But as I was on the recovery table after the surgery, I was just like, yes, it’s disappointing. And yes, it’s disheartening, because I had so many high expectations,” Taylor said.

“But I didn’t want my career, my journey, everything, to end like that. And so that was really the motivation to come back and compete for one more Olympics.”

United States’ Christian Taylor competes at the World Athletics Championships. PHOTO: AP