Grant Holloway poses at the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympic shoot on Nov. 23, 2019 in West Hollywood, California.
“Wait a moment for your moment.” “Surround yourself with positivity.”
These are the words constantly spoken to me by my parents throughout my childhood. These two quotes are so instilled in me that they were the first tattoos I got.
My journey to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be non-existence if it was not for my father and mother. I thank my father for his guidance and being the best role model a son could have. Whether showing me how to wash a car, grill a juicy steak, or catching a football, my dad has been there since I can remember. My father is a retired U.S. Navy officer and a youth track and field coach. It’s great having a father who understands my sport. His track team is one of the best in the nation and he continues to teach the true fundamentals of track and field.
I thank him for taking me to practice and also giving me whatever perspective I needed at the time, whether it was fatherly advice or coaching advice. I witness his dedication and strong work ethic daily. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a Naval officer just like him. But my father would say “don’t try to be like me, be better than me.” Work hard, strive for greatness, and leave your mark on this world. Whenever I need my father, all I have to do is close my eyes and I hear him speaking to me in his calm voice saying, “You got this son, just take a deep breath and give them that signature Holloway smile.” That’s when something great is about to happen!
Thank you, mom, for being my biggest cheerleader. I have been blessed with a mother who has constantly supported me. She always tells me how proud she is of me and praises me for the man I’m becoming. Thank you for being there for practices, games and the many different school events. I always know that I can count on you to be there. My journey to Tokyo would not be complete without your daily affirmations to encourage me. Even when I’m feeling down and unmotivated, one phone call with you lifts my spirit and gives me the energy to stay on track and keep pushing forward. Our phone calls bring happiness and sometimes even laughter to my day. I cherish our bond. As I have said to you many times before, I feel closer to you now than I have ever felt.
You are always there for me whether it’s when I need a listening ear and sometimes when I least expect it. For example, I remember when we were on the Interstate driving back to Virginia from Florida. I was driving and you were in the passenger seat. The trip went well. We were cruising, enjoying the day. We were laughing and talking. Then the check tire pressure light came on and before I realized it, I was experiencing my first tire blow out. As I panicked, you calmed me down and guided us to safety. I was so happy you were there. Just as happy as I was when you were there to help me move into my first house. Thank you for being there. It was a chaotic time because I closed on the house then had to leave for the National Championships the next day. I felt overwhelmed. However, your presence allowed me to focus on the track meet and make the world championship team. Three months later, I became a world champion!