A five-time USA Outdoor Champion in the Heptathlon, Hyleas Fountain is now a two time Olympian. A near-miss for making the US team with her 4th place finish in 2004, she was a Silver Medalist in 2008 in Beijing, China. Fountain is a 2000 graduate of Central Dauphin East HS in Harrisburg, PA.
Hyleas was kind enough to take a few minutes during her final preparation for the London Olympics to answer a few questions from MileSplit.
Photos by Don Rich
MS: You seem to be ready when the calendar turns over every four years? What mental/physical factors are key to this?
HF: That has just been the card I was dealt. I always have injuries on the off years and then the Games come around I'm nice and crisp. I would rather it be that way, but it would be nice to be injury free on a World Championship year. I really don't know what it is about Olympic year.
MS: Did you approach the 2012 trials differently than 2008 when you had PBs in 5 events and scored 6667? Being 31 now play a part in that? How have you been able to maintain such a high level of commitment in such a demanding event?
HF: Well when I talked to my coach this year I told him I wanted to be training through the Trials, because in the past I have always scored high at USA's and not at the Games. So that's what we did. I was about 80% at trials and the Goal was to just get on the team, no matter what place I got. We will definitely be tapering off for the Games and I'm sure a different score will show.
MS: Did the buzz surrounding Eaton's WR chase carryover to the hep? If so, how did it affect the competition?
HF: Watching Ashton get the World Record made me really emotional. I was so happy for him and it gave me a drive to go out and score big at the Games.
MS: The hep looks like it is going to be in the spotlight in London because of Brit Jessica Ennis. How do your strengths compare?
HF: My Goal is to go into the Games and focus on myself. I have 7 different events to worry about. So I will be staying within myself and focusing only on me.
MS: What is your pivotal event in the hep, where you know if you have scored well that the rest of the competition will probably go well or vice versa?
HF: For me it's the start of Day 1 and 2. Both those day start off with my 2 favorite events. Most of the time if I have a good hurdles, and long jump, I know the day is going to be good.
MS: They call the decathlon winner the world's greatest athlete? Agree or disagree?
HF: I most heartily agree. It takes a special guy to go out and do a decathlon and do it well. :)