Isaiah Jewett prepares to run in the first round of the men's 800-meter at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials on June 18, 2021 in Eugene, Ore.
You may have heard of the EGOT — the exclusive club of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award recipients. But what do you call a world-class champion athlete — especially an Olympic gold medalist — who adds one of those entertainment prizes — particularly an Academy Award — to their trophy case?
OGMOW, for Olympic gold medalist and Oscar winner?
The late Kobe Bryant, whose 2018 animated short “Dear Basketball” put an Oscar in company with his 2008 and 2012 Olympic triumphs plus five NBA championship rings, is a start for that potential guild.
Another Los Angeles and Team USA sports figure, Isaiah Jewett, intends to give it traction by garnering a gold medal for track and field and a gold statue for animation.
Of that dual dream, the middle-distance runner and anime enthusiast out of the University of Southern California says, “I just keep following it, regardless of how I feel.”
He already epitomized that attitude for all to see at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where a gold medal stood within his catching distance, only to scamper off after a freak misfortune. Last August, Jewett was on pace to finish third in the 800-meter semifinal when a trailing Nijel Amos of Botswana collided with him. The two tangled up and dropped.
Fazed only briefly, Jewett helped his competitor up, and they carried on together to finish a distant seventh and eighth in the third eight-man semifinal heat.
Given the faultless nature of their shortcoming, both runners appealed their standing as the officials assembled the championship pool. Because Jewett technically, albeit unintentionally, impeded Amos from ahead, only the latter moved on.
But both men completed their semifinal sprint. That is what stuck with Jewett in the wake of the moment, and it still does eight months later going on nine.
“I was a little bit sad that I didn’t get to go on to the finals, but I just took the motion of wanting to keep forward,” he said recently. “Now I just want to do better than what I did there because I know I can if I put my mind to it.”
Of Amos, who later finished seventh in the final and with whom he has since shared two pleasant conversations, he said, “I look forward to racing him again.”