American sprinter Nick Mayhugh, affectionately known as theThree-time Paralympic gold medalist Nick Mayhugh. Photo Credit: Brittany Alvarado
American sprinter Nick Mayhugh, affectionately known as the “Usain Bolt of the Paralympics,” chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos. He opened up about winning four medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games for Team USA and breaking several world records.
Walt Disney once said: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Paralympian Nick Mayhugh, 25, is living proof of this wise quotation by the cartoon legend.
Tokyo Paralympic Games
As Digital Journal previously reported, Mayhugh won three gold medals and a silver medal for Team USA at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
He won the men’s 100 meter T37 event with a time of 10.95 seconds, a new world record, and the men’s 200 meter T37 event with an impressive time of 21.91seconds. In the men’s 400 meter T37 race, he claimed the silver medal. Team USA also won the gold medal in the mixed 4 x 100 meter relay race and they broke a world record, clocking 45.52 seconds. “That hasn’t really hit me yet,” he said. “It’s a high of emotions and an overwhelming amount of feelings. It has been a crazy experience, and I am trying to just appreciate it.”
““Breaking those world records felt so good,” he exclaimed. “Those were something that I knew that I was definitely capable of. That was the plan: for me to go to Tokyo and break the world record in every race I ran.”
“I was proud to have the opportunity to stand on the podium four times,” he added.
He paid a heartfelt tribute to his brother and coach, Thomas Mayhugh, for all of his guidance and support along the way. “It felt so good, this is just the beginning. I am excited,” he said.
He was thrilled to receive a reply from track and field superstar Usain Bolt and to be acknowledged by him. “The fact that Usain Bolt knows who I am is insane,” he said. “Usain Bolt is my biggest inspiration in the sport of track and field. I also look up to Fred Kerley, who set the mold. I want to break barriers just like them and make history. I want to be the ‘Usain Bolt of the Paralympics’ and I want to make a path of my own.”
Each day, he is motivated by his family. “I am a big mama’s boy, everything I do is for my mom,” he said. “I want to be in a position in my life where I can take care of my mother and my father, and my brother. That’s the reason why I do what I do: to repay them for everything that they have done for me.”
For young and aspiring track and field athletes, he said, “Believe in yourselves. I have the world ‘believe’ tattooed on my leg. I always believed in myself and I always played at the highest level that I knew that I could. If you just believe in yourself you can do anything you set your mind to.”
He acknowledged that all the failures he experienced and the adverse times helped mold him into the person that he is today. “Those moments made me a better person and a better athlete either on the track or in the field, and they have made me who I am today,” he admitted.
On the title of the current chapter of his life, Mayhugh responded, “I Am Who I Am.” “I am always changing and I am always trying to be better,” he said. “I am trying to learn from my mistakes, my failures, my successes, and everything. I am always trying to be a better version of myself.”
Mayhugh is pumped for Paris 2024 and he feels that the best is yet to come. He has some lofty goals set for himself and he is ready to meet those as well. “I am so excited,” he said.
Particularly impressive about Mayhugh is that he is a gifted soccer player in his own right. He was honored as the 2019 “U.S. Soccer Player of the Year with a Disability.” He shared that he looks forward to doing more soccer in the future in addition to track and field.
“I know we have the World Cup in Barcelona in April and I intend to be there,” he said. “I definitely want to be there representing my country by playing soccer.”
Fans and success
For his fans and supporters, he said, “Thank you, that’s an emotional answer. This is just the beginning. I love the fans so much, I wouldn’t be here without them. I am excited and there are a lot more ‘thank yous’ to come. The support from all over the world hasn’t really hit me yet so I haven’t been able to process all of that.”
Mayhugh defined the word success as “the legacy that he is able to leave after he walks off the track for the last time.” “The medals and the records are cool but those are for the media and the fans that watch the sport. As an athlete, I want to leave the sport of track and field, the community of the Paralympics, and the community of disabled sports better than it was when I first got here,” he explained.
“I am more focused on making a positive impact off the track. I want to propel the conversation of the Paralympics, the awareness and the education of disability in sports, and I want to take it to a new stratosphere,” he concluded.
For more information on Paralympic champion Nick Mayhugh, follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and check out his official website.
USA’s Nick Mayhugh strikes a Usain ‘lightning’ Bolt pose after his 200m world record Saturday – Copyright AFP Oscar RiveraAmerican sprinter Nick Mayhugh, affectionately known as the