Sunday, June 30, 2024

Inspired Or Pissed?

I am sure most track and field fans have been following the ongoing USA Olympic Trials. Leading up to the trials, there was a fair bit of of discussion about 1500m runner Eric Holt.

Holt (who is 29) ran his fastest 1500m race at the New York City Grand Prix on 8-9 June, finishing 2nd behind Jake Whitman, the 2022 world champion. 

He was interviewed after the race and unlike many other runners he had no sponsorship, calling himself an amateur. He pays for his own running gear and physiotherapy sessions.  That interview led to an article about him in the Washington Post. He worked 13 hour shifts in a psych ward to make ends meet, where he prevents patients from harming themselves. The running team he trains with found him when he posted his extremely hard workouts on Strava between 11 pm and midnight.

Besides living with his parents (which he was feeling embarrased about), his girlfriend also pays for their meals when they do go out. He dreams to be a professional runner and promises to return the favor if he gets sponsored. He wants to prove to sponsors that he is hard working and talented, and that he's not some schmuck (foolish).    

He ends the interview by saying that he's gambling and betting his life, sacrificing everything to be a pro one day.

I thought that was really inspiring since I ran cross-country and track and field in seconday school and can identify with Holt. However, there were other running fans who saw the same interview but had a much different view. 

You can watch a profanity laced video of another track fan berating Holt for his 'sob' story. He thinks Holt should quit running and get another job. He even criticized people like me who would encourage athletes like Holt.

If you watched the critique video, please share your reaction in the comments. There is no right or wrong answer, I am just curious to hear your views.

Today is the last day of the trials. Sadly, Holt did not qualify for both the 800m or the 1500m, but at least he got Puma as a shoe sponsor now.

Thank you for reading and thanks in advance if you share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Didn’t watch but if it is negative and contains profanity, it isn’t worth the energy to respond.

  2. Congrats to Holt for his achievements, it’s very inspiring to see his hard work and sacrifices coming into fruition. The video does bring up a valid point about sponsored athletes being signed based on performance - not just hard work alone.

  3. Eric Holt seems like a genuine person who has sacrificed a lot to chase his dream. I'm glad he has a sponsor so he is able to really focus on his passion. The rant against him was unnecessarily vitriolic. The video disrespectful and made many false claims. Not worth giving any time or attention to that video/channel.