Olympic sprint champ Jacobs says reconnecting with U.S. father "gave me the desire to win"

·1 min read

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs told reporters his men's 100-meter Olympic gold medal win Sunday feels like "a dream."

The big picture: Relative unknown Jacobs, who was born in El Paso, Texas, to a U.S. serviceman father and Italian mother before moving to Italy with his mom as a baby, set a European record of 9.80 seconds to win gold. American Fred Kerley won silver and Canada’s Andre de Grasse takes bronze.

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

  • This was the first Olympic men's 100m final since athletics great Usain Bolt retired.

What they're saying: Kerley told reporters he "didn't know nothing about" 26-year-old Jacobs before his win, while De Grasse said: "I thought my main competition would be the Americans ... he really shocked me and surprised me, so really congrats to him. He did his thing. He came out of the blue."

What he's saying: Even Jacobs seemed shocked by his win, describing the result as "incredible." "I think I need four or five years to realize and understand what's happening," he added.

  • Jacobs also spoke about the importance of reconnecting with his Dallas-based father in the past year, from whom he's since received encouraging messages.

  • The sprinter's mental health coach told him "if you want to run fast, you need to get to a place that feels good for you with your father," Jacobs recalled.

  • "You are in your blood American ... and you need to speak with him to arrive at the Olympic Games and maybe win," he quoted the adviser as saying.

The bottom line: Reconnecting with his father "gave me the desire, the speed, that something more that helped me being here and win the Olympics," Jacobs said.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further comment from Jacobs on his father.

More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting