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Richardson: Athletics hinders finding love

FIRST LOVE: Richardson says he is too busy with athletics to make time for relationships

THERE IS no other job like it but 2011 World Championships 110m hurdles gold medallist Jason Richardson says being the best means sacrificing your love life.

Richardson says he wouldn’t have it any other way but when asked about the pitfalls of living the life of a track star, his response shone a light on the compromises made by elite sports men and women the world over.

“This sounds a really weird answer, but in some ways track and field is an arrested development in that sometimes we don't have a chance to grow up as normal individuals.”

He added: “We often don’t have to face those real world issues. For example, many athletes have never been fired from a job or had to work long hours for a boss they hate. Many of us (athletes) have never learned how to compromise because we never have to. Sometimes that makes it difficult to navigate through a world that isn't always roses.”


Continuing, he said: “The other downside is it is hard to maintain relationships when you are competing on the circuit. Now there are definitely athletes that have strong relationships and healthy marriages on the circuit, but it is tough.

“They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but I don’t know if that is true. It is really hard when you are dating and trying to establish a meaningful relationship and then you say, ‘bye, I’m going to be gone for three months’.”

Richardson, 28, says even with track and field being as all-consuming as it can be, he does have other interests away from the sport, such as fashion. 
“It started when I was at high school. Back then I was incredibly skinny and it became difficult to shop for clothes.”

He continued: “Yet when I went to shop at a couple of high-end stores the fit was better. European fit is always slimmer. When I went pro and started to make more money, I shopped for more European brands and developed more of a European style.

“My favourite men’s label would be Rick Owens. He has a good blend of European style, which is still pretty clean. I have a beard and dreads but I need to keep it polished so that I look employed.

“Celine make the best jewellery and I also include my Adidas boost shoes. They are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever put on. They are like a warm Christian hug. I know I’m paid to say that but, even if I wasn’t, I would still say it.”

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