Thursday 15 November, 2018

Barbados means the world to me, says double Olympic gold medallist

US Olympic gold medallist, Christian Taylor.

US Olympic gold medallist, Christian Taylor.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Christian Taylor and his Barbadian dad, Ian Taylor, are wishing Barbados happy independence.

They sat down with Loop to tell us about their love for the island.

Even though their family now resides in Georgia, Atlanta, both Christian’s parents and grandparents are from Barbados. Dad Ian explained that they brought Barbados to the USA, in the way they trained their children:

“One of the things that we did in Atlanta is to celebrate Barbadian holidays.

"There is a Barbados association of Atlanta and it celebrates all of the local holidays, but in addition to that the kids were forced to learn about their culture – they had to do what we would normally have done as children, which included creating toys which we would have made as children in Barbados.”

Christian added that “church values were instilled in me: the importance of where my strength comes from, who I’m truly representing was something that was instilled from the very beginning. The importance of striving to be the best in the class was something that I really didn’t have an option - before any athletics, school work always came first.”

One thing also experienced in Atlanta, was Bajan discipline.

Ian stressed that Barbadian discipline was so paramount in how his children were raised, that Christian didn’t have to be told twice:

“Christian was familiar with that Caribbean discipline for a very short period of time, because when he realised what it was, he didn’t need to go through it again - he learned very quickly.”  

Now a two-time Olympic gold medallist, Christian still very much loves Barbados… well particularly Barbadian food:

Culture is very important and food is very important – I’m a big fan of flying fish.

“I saw people holding up ackee at the side of the road and that gets me very excited.  Now anywhere I go and people saw do you like guineps, I say no it’s ackee. So the food is very important to me.”

And what else does Christain love about Barbados other than the food? He can’t get enough of some of our favourite places.

“I can say the beaches for sure, grilling out in Oistins – going down there for the weekend, hearing the live music and dancing. I think it’s very special.”

And the family takes every opportunity they can to return to the island, as it seems to do wonders for Christian’s athletic ability.

Ian explained that they “try to get here at least twice a year.”

He stressed that every time Christian trained on the island’s beaches or at the Garrison Savannah before a big meet, he would do personal best during the games.