Olympic triple jumper and rapper Will Claye on why his music career is more than a hobby

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“It appears to be like just like the individual is simply floating — there is a cadence to it and there is a rhythm to it,” Claye tells CNN Sport.

“I really feel like triple soar is among the extra artistic-looking occasions … it form of simply flows.”

It is an acceptable selection of phrases for somebody who divides his time between athletic tracks and music tracks. A two-time Olympic silver medalist within the triple soar, 29-year-old Claye can also be a recording artist who has began his personal file label, Desert Water Data.

On high of his athletic aspirations — which, proper now, contain getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics — Claye additionally desires of performing his music all over the world. His love for song-making runs deep, relationship again, he thinks, to earlier than the second he fell in love with monitor and discipline.

“Music is my love language, you realize?” he says. “That is why I can not actually shake creating it. I actually get chills after I make sure songs … it is one thing that I wish to share with the world. I wish to be one of many greatest artists ever.”

Claye, who additionally has his personal style label, featured in YG’s “IDGAF” in 2013 — the video for which has accrued almost 70 million views on YouTube and consists of the triple jumper carrying his Olympic medals.

When it comes to the artists he hopes to emulate, Claye lists Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle and Dr. Dre.

“I wish to be on that kind of degree, music-wise,” he says. “And I feel as a result of I am an athlete, individuals form of overlook that.

“They suppose that I am doing it simply because I can as a pastime. However it’s not likely a pastime for me. It is one thing that basically is from my soul.”

Final yr, following the postponement of Tokyo 2020, Claye mixed his love for music and athletics into “Desires Do not Die” — a track that displays on how athletes had been pressured to place their Olympic desires on maintain.

It consists of traces comparable to “4 years straight, my eye’s been on the prize,” “it is a lesson when coping with father time,” and the chorus “desires do not die, they only multiply”; the accompanying music video is a montage of Claye and different athletes coaching and competing.

“That was actually how I used to be feeling, and it was one thing that I knew all Olympians had been feeling,” he says.

“This dream that we’ve got — to be an Olympian, to be an Olympic medalist, to characterize our international locations, to exit and simply lay all of it on the enjoying discipline — is one thing that we dream of. We dream of these moments.

“It virtually appeared just like the dream was simply denied … however for it to be postponed — you realize, you bought to maintain that power up.”

And maintaining his power is strictly what Claye has executed.

“This would be the first Olympics that I’ve had 5 years to arrange for,” he says, including that he feels that is “among the best Olympic buildups I’ve ever had.”

Tokyo 2020 will get underway on July 23 and Claye shall be hoping to win his first gold medal after twice ending runner-up within the triple soar to countryman Christian Taylor.

He additionally has a bronze medal from the lengthy soar in 2012 when he grew to become the primary man since 1936 — and the primary American since 1904 — to win Olympic medals in each the lengthy soar and the triple soar.

Claye competes in the men's triple jump final at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Behind Taylor and world file holder Jonathan Edwards, Claye’s private better of 18 meters and 14 centimeters is fourth on triple soar’s all-time list.

Having dominated out the prospect of a correct indoor season amid coronavirus restrictions, his focus is now on competing at meets in Southern California in April earlier than preparation begins for the Olympic trials in June.

Past that, he hopes to have the ability to journey abroad for competitions forward of Tokyo.

The Olympics are an occasion Claye holds pricey, not solely due to his medal-winning success, but in addition as a result of he proposed to his wife, fellow Olympian Queen Harrison-Claye, at Rio 2016. The couple held an engagement ceremony in Sierra Leone, the place Claye’s mother and father are from, earlier than getting married in California in October 2018.

“The sensation of me proposing was a greater feeling than me being on the rostrum, truthfully,” he says. “That is one thing that can perpetually be a reminiscence in my and my spouse’s lives.”

Claye proposes to Queen Harrison after winning silver at the 2016 Olympics.

This yr’s Olympics will probably be a extra subdued affair for Claye in comparison with when he was encircled by a mass of spectators throughout his marriage proposal in Rio.

Organizers say that the potential of abroad followers with the ability to attend this yr’s Video games will turn into clear by the tip of March — a choice prone to have an effect on discipline athletes extra sharply than different Olympians.

Jumpers would possibly spend greater than an hour and a half out on the monitor throughout competitions, counting on the power of the gang to gas their efficiency. However Claye stays undaunted by the prospect of a Video games with few followers.

“As an entertainer, I would really like the gang to be there,” he says, “however I do not actually suppose it dictates my efficiency. I’ve had massive jumps when there was nobody within the stadium.

“I do know that individuals shall be watching from the consolation of their houses so I’ll placed on a present for them.”

In Tokyo, Claye may obtain the uncommon feat of profitable medals at three separate Olympics; this time, nevertheless, he hopes to strike gold.

“That is the purpose … that is what we practice for,” he says. “If this child from Phoenix, Arizona, was in a position to do this, I feel that might be a fairly cool factor for the world to see.”

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