Longhorns Olympic Trials spotlight: Marquise Goodwin
June 21, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Family has always been extremely important to junior Marquise Goodwin, and that is why he has bought a plane ticket for his mother to go see him compete at the Olympic Trials.
One year ago at this time, Goodwin made the decision that he was going to save his money so that he could purchase a plane ticket for his mother, Tamina, to go watch him try out for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
"I decided to get my mother a ticket for trials at Outdoor Nationals last year," Goodwin said. "I started to put money away so that I could have her there this summer."
Most college kids would jump at the chance to go out and eat at a nice restaurant or go shopping for new clothes or electronics if they accumulated any extra spending money. But not Goodwin, who feels that having family around to support him is money well spent.
"It was not big decision for me because family comes first," Goodwin said. "I only spend money on things that are necessary. There is not a whole lot of unnecessary spending I do. It was necessary to have the woman who gave me life at Olympic Trials."
Now that the plane ticket is paid for, Goodwin will have his mother there cheering him on. He will know she is there rooting for him to continue his success.
"She is excited to be able to come," Goodwin said. "I always know where my mom is in the stands. I can always hear here in the stands over everyone, and that is big for me."
This is not the first time Goodwin has put family first over himself. When he was 14 years old he got his first job to help support his mother and three younger sisters. He started working with a moving company and worked different jobs all throughout high school.
"It was a sacrifice that I had to make," Goodwin said. "I grew up with a single mom and three younger sisters. It was tough being the only male in the house. I had to get a job. I had to do everything early."
The hard work Goodwin did to help support his family carried over to athletics as well. He is a well-decorated two-sport athlete, playing football along with competing in track and field at The University of Texas.
Earlier this month he captured his second NCAA Championship in the long jump, hitting the Olympics A standard mark with a jump of 8.23m (27-0). It was his top collegiate mark and is the eighth longest in the world this year. He ranks second in the United States behind Will Claye (8.25m). By hitting the A standard, Goodwin assured his place at Olympic Trials.
"Getting the A standard is good," Goodwin said. "It is a big relief. I did not even hit a legal A standard last year, but I did end up winning the competition which allowed me to advance to the World Championships. I am glad that I hit it this time around. With that I have no worries. I can just go out there and jump."
Last summer Goodwin won the long jump at the USA Championships with a jump of 8.33m (27-4). He moved on to the World Championships where he just missed the finals, finishing 13th in the qualifying rounds with a leap of 8.02m (26-3.75).
"The experience from World's helps me a lot going into Olympic Trials," Goodwin said. "Having the experience overall, having that under my belt gives me an advantage against the other guys that are coming in. I know what to expect. I know what it is like to jump on two different days so I am somewhat prepared for that. But at the same time, I have not been on an Olympic team nor have I been to Olympic trials. Trials will be a different experience."
It is an experience that Goodwin will relish, especially having his mother in the stands cheering him on.
"I have been waiting for this for a long time," Goodwin said. "It has been a lifelong dream that I can soon make a reality. I will have to continue to stay focused and continue to work hard."