Jarrion Lawson has faced challenges in his career, one of those being a doping charge that halted his career for two years. After being suspended and living through a global pandemic, Lawson has his eyes set on Tokyo.
Lawson, an American long jumper and sprinter, is a former University of Arkansas Razorback that is now training for the 2021 Olympics on Rocky Top.
He was exonerated from the doping charge in early 2020, and then the pandemic hit. After months off, he is ready to compete. UT Today sports reporter, Maia McCoy caught up with the athlete.
Lawson said, “Staying consistent has been a big challenge especially since you don’t have any opportunities. You just come to track practice, go back home, then tomorrow practice. There’s no competition or anything.”
Although Lawson isn’t a former Vol, he has made a home in Knoxville. He is being trained by UT track and field coach, Travis Geopret, and also serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Vols.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the 2021 Olympics, Lawson is eager to get back, “I have been starved from the opportunity for a long time so I’m just excited to get back out there and get on the world stage.”
The athlete feels he will qualify for the Olympic team and make it to the top of the podium. He plans to compete in the long jump, 100-meter dash, and/or the 4×1. Lawson said, “Two Olympic gold medals. I want to keep it clean and cut.” He even hopes to break the world record in the long jump, currently held by Mike Powell, who jumped 8.95 meters (29 feet, 11.5 inches) in 2018, according to Sports Illustrated.
Lawson noted that it has been tough for many athletes during the pandemic and he shared these words of encouragement, “Just take it one day at a time. Control what you can control… Don’t rush through anything.” He continues, “Trust the process which is easier said than to do. Just be patient with yourself. Let progress and practice confirm where you are.”