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‘The Job Is Not Done’: Grant Holloway Thanks Those Who Have Led Him To Tokyo 2020

by Grant Holloway

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!

“Do you want to be a good football player who runs track or do you want to be a great hurdler?” This is the question coach Mike Holloway asked me when I was trying to decide on what college I was going to attend. I had narrowed down my decision between the University of Georgia and University of Florida. If I selected UGA, I would have been a dual sport athlete playing football in the fall and competing in track in the spring.

I knew that my dream and passion was to become a great hurdler and an Olympian. So I chose Florida and coach Holloway to help me make my dream come true. From the first day that I started training with him, he said there was something special in me. We just needed to cultivate it and watch it grow. I cannot imagine my road to Tokyo without him.

Thank you, coach Holloway, for believing in me from the beginning. You have coached and trained me to eight NCAA championships, a collegiate record, a world championship and an American record. 2019 was a special year for both of us. We were able to break both collegiate records – indoors and outdoors – and were able to become world champs! Without your hard work and dedication, we wouldn’t have any of these things.

But above all the trophies and medals, you have shown me how to be a man of honor and dignity. Thank you for instilling in me the importance of treating my body and mind like a temple. I watch who I allow in my inner circle because of your words of wisdom. I am conscientious of what I eat and drink because of your guidance and reminders. You’ve always said to me that talent is one thing, but talent without discipline and commitment is just a wasted opportunity. 

Thank you for helping me grow into a young man just like you promised to my mom and dad during my recruitment visit. I am so happy to have you as my coach because I know even after we medal in Tokyo … the job is not done.