Wilson's First Olympic Bid UnsuccessfulDespite being ranked 5th in the U.S. as a junior at Indiana University in 2004, Wilson did not make the cut at the 2004 Olympic trials. If anything, that setback spurred him on to greater achievements over the next few years.
Wilson's Steady Improvement from High School through CollegeWe seldom see the years of hard work leading up to world-class athletic performances; Wilson is a prime example of the work paying off. He jumped 37 feet at his first meet as a high school freshman. Four years later, as a Fallon High senior, he set the Nevada state record at 51 feet, 1 1/4 inches. This record still stands.
At Indiana University, Wilson just kept getting better and better, improving his performances every year. As a senior in 2005, he was the number three ranked triple jumper in the U.S. By 2007, he was at fourth in the world by Track & Field News rankings. Wilson's personal best of 57 feet, 8 1/4 inches was outdoors at the 2007 London Grand Prix.
Wilson Looking to Win an Olympic MedalAarik Wilson is currently the U.S. Indoor Champion in triple jump and on his way to Beijing as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team. If Wilson is in top form in Beijing, current world records may be in jeopardy. Whether records are broken or not, Wilson is looking to bring home an Olympic medal for the U.S. in triple jump. The last American athlete to do so was Kenny Harrison with gold in 1996. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will run from August 8 through August 24, 2008.
Sources: NBC Beijing 2008, Getty Images, Reno Gazette-Journal.