“We’re all put here on earth for a purpose. My purpose is to be someone else’s eyes.” —Jerome Avery
Jerome has been able to “connect the dots” of how his life experiences prepared him for his purpose. Here he shares with Jon and Bryan all of the influences that impacted the path he’s on today.
He passionately shares the inspiring stories of Paralympians who overcome daily life challenges that we take for granted. His vision for finding “selfless” elites to stand alongside these amazing athletes motivates his work.
(2:54) Jerome’s early life, his introduction to track and field, and discovering the gift of speed…
(8:52) What happens when you have supportive parents, a good work ethic, and natural talent…
(11:09) “I have the slumdog millionaire life.” Jerome shares how his competitive experiences on the track prepared him to know what his runners needed to hear.
(13:30) Looking back at influences… community college, Tommy Smith, and the Olympic dream.
(16:44) Happy to be at the trials but not quite prepared mentally…
(18:24) An invite to the Olympic training center changed everything.
(20:14) “…in order for me to be a great guide runner, I had to have success through selflessness.”
(22:58) An opportunity to go to Athens, Greece as a guide runner…
(25:49) 50,000 pairs of eyes, a mistake, and a silver medal…
(29:46) “Those journeys from me being an individual athlete kick in.”
(31:47) Different classifications mean different challenges and techniques.
(35:47) Some of the athletes Jerome has trained and the places he has run…
(37:28) The goal of being a contract guide runner and matching guides with athletes from other countries…
(39:18) Being in it for the right reasons…
(43:36) How do Paralympians want to be seen and treated?
(49:16) Paralympians versus Olympians, can they be compared?
(51:35) How is Covid impacting training?
(58:49) Training as usual…
(59:08) The challenges of having enough guide runners… and Jerome’s foundation, “Guiding Lives.”
(1:02:17) “You can’t tell me that in the United States, there’re only three or four vision-impaired athletes that are elite.”Jerome addresses the need for a growing awareness.
(1:05:23) What does Go Be More mean to you?
If you liked this episode, check out our interviews with Guide Runner Wesley Williams and founder of Angel City Sports Clayton Frech.
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Recorded September 23, 2020.
2016 Rio Paralympic Games 100m Final – YouTube
2017 London Para World Championships 100m Final – YouTube
Jerome Avery – Instagram
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