Journey to the Olympic Trials


We caught up with Keith Moffatt for a quick Q&A session via cell phone while he was on his way to the Olympic trials in Eugene Oregon.

Returning to Hayward Field, one of the most hallowed sites in the sport, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials are hosted in 2012 at Hayward Field. Hayward field was the site of the ’72, ’76, ’80 and ’08 Olympic Trials as well. The country’s most prestigious pre-Olympic event, the Olympic Trials is where the roster for Team USA will be selected for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Eugene has long been dubbed “Track Town, USA” for its rich track and field history, and the community’s appreciation of the sport of track. The largest national championship track meet in the world, the U.S. Olympic Trials host more than 1,000 athletes as they compete for the right to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games.

After coming close on numerous occasions, Moffatt qualified for his first U.S. World Champs or Olympic team with his third-place finish at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships. The strong showing earned him a spot on the Team USA roster for the World Championships in Berlin. The last time Keith Moffatt was at TrackTown, he placed 5th for Team USA for the 2008 Olympic Trials, but was just short of making it to the Olympics.

Keith’s 2012 season feature stunning highs, and heartbreaking lows. He was up when he came in 3rd for the 2012 USA Indoor Championship, and down when he injured his knee and had to pull out of most of his outdoor competitions in May and June.

What are you feeling leading into the Olympic Trials?
I’ve been to the Olympic Trials before in 2008, so I feel like I know better what to expect and how to mentally prepare. This time though, it’s a matter of whether my knee will be in shape to perform where I need it to be. I actually started preparing last Monday for the Trials. I get in competition mode, which is why I took off work this week. I don’t go out, I don’t talk to anyone – not even my girlfriend when I’m in competition mode. You’re lucky I took your call this week to answer your questions!

How’s your mindset? We have heard Olympians have mastered controlling their mind-Is this true?
Competing is all about the mindset – I have to clear my head and have no distractions or stress in order to get my mindset in the right place. A lot of people ask me what’s on my iPod when I train, but I don’t listen to music when I train because the music will not be there when I compete, so I self motivate myself instead of trying to use music.

Let’s talk “TrackTown.” You were there last time you competed for the Olympics.
I’m excited for TrackTown. I haven’t been in 4 years. I’m really motivated this time because I’m going in as the underdog, and no one expects me to do anything. I’m pumped up to get there and show them what I’ve got.

What’s the Olympic Trial schedule?
The high jump qualifying round is day 2 of the trials on June 23 at 4:20 p.m. (PST). They are expecting 24 athletes for the qualifying round which will compete for 12 spots in the finals.

Can I watch you on TV?
If I make it to the high jump finals on Monday, June 25 at 5:50 p.m. (PST), you can watch me on NBC.