Nick Symmonds at the 2010 Hanžeković Memorial
30 December 1983 |
Boise, Idaho, USA
|Height||5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m)|
|Weight||165 pounds (75 kg)|
|Achievements and titles|
400 m: 47.45 (2012)
Nicholas "Nick" Symmonds (born December 30, 1983) is an American middle-distance track athlete from Boise, Idaho, specializing in the 800 meters and 1500 meters distances. In college at Willamette University he won seven NCAA Division III titles in outdoor track. In 2007, he won the 800 m race at the Prefontaine Classic. On June 30, 2008, Symmonds won the 800 m run at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, in 1:44.10 and qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics team. Symmonds won his Round 1 - Heat 4 race with 1:46:01, but failed to qualify in the semifinals run on 21 August 2008: he placed 5th at 1:46:96. 2012 Olympics: Symmonds won his Round 1 800 m race with a 1:45.91 finish.
Symmonds was born on December 30, 1983, in Sun Valley, Idaho, where his father Jeffrey Symmonds is a surgeon, and his mother Andrea is a teacher. Raised in Boise, Nick is a 2002 graduate of Bishop Kelly High School in that city. In high school he won state championships in the 800 m (PR 1:53), 1600 m (PR 4:20) and 3200 m individual races and on the 4 x 400 m relay. He chose Willamette University in Salem, Oregon over other schools that could offer athletic scholarships.
At Willamette, a NCAA Division III school, Symmonds earned a degree in biochemistry in 2006 and is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. On the track outdoors, he won the 800 NCAA championship race all four years and the 1500 NCAA championship race as a freshman, junior, and senior. Symmonds collegiate best in the 800 (1:45.83) currently ranks No. 1 in NCAA Division III history. His 1500 collegiate best (3:40.91) ranks No. 3 all-time in NCAA Division III.
 Post college
After college Symmonds joined the Oregon Track Club Elite. A seven time outdoor track champion at the NCAA III level, he was runner-up at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2006 in the 800 m race. In 2007, he won the 800 m race at the Prefontaine Classic meet in Eugene, Oregon, with a then personal best 1:44.54 seconds, shocking the current Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy by beating him at his own come from behind strategy.
In 2008 he won the United States Olympic Trials 800 m final held in Eugene, Oregon with a personal best time of 1:44.10. Symmonds was the first of three Oregon associated athletes to finish at the top of this race before the home crowd, the other two being Andrew Wheating from the University of Oregon and Oregon Track Club training partner Christian Smith, an event referred to as the "Oregon sweep" replayed many times in television coverage of the meet.See it on a private youtube videoand as presented on TV. This qualified him (and all three) for the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, for the 800 m race. At the Beijing Olympics, Symmonds finished fifth in his semifinal heat with a time of 1:46.96, 0.73 seconds behind the winner of that heat.
Symmonds continued to improve in 2009, winning the USATF Championships over Khadevis Robinson, which qualified him to represent the US at the World Championships. As part of his preparation for the championships, Symmonds ran a PR of 1:43.83 on July 29, 2009 in Monaco. A few weeks later, Symmonds became the first American to qualify for the final of the men's 800 m since 1997. He finished sixth in 1:45.71. In 2010, he again lowered his personal record to 1:43.76, while finishing third behind David Rudisha's 1:41.01 world record at the IAAF World Challenge track and field meet in Rieti, Italy.
On June 25, 2012, Symmonds returned to the 2012 United States Olympic Trials again on his home track. The race went out fast, with Charles Jock leading Duane Solomon through a sub-50 second first lap. Atypically, Symmonds was not that far off the pace. As Jock faded, Solomon charged off to a big lead through the final turn. Symmonds ran around the field and ran down Solomon on the home stretch to make his second Olympic team.
At the London Olympics, Symmonds qualified on time to get through to the finals of the 800m. He placed 5th in the final with a new personal best of 1:42.95 behind teammate Duane Solomon. David Rudisha placed first in that race in world record time, 1:40.91.
He is the part owner of a tanning salon.
 Olympic advertising
Symmonds is rebelling against what he considers absurdly strict rules restricting athlete's ability to market themselves. For the 2012 season, he auctioned off space on his left arm for a temporary tattoo to advertise a sponsor. The winning bidder was Milwaukee advertising agency, Hanson Dodge Creative, which paid $11,000 for the space to advertise their Twitter handle. During restricted competitions like the Olympic Trials and Olympics, Symmonds is required to cover up the tattoo with white tape, which actually draws attention to the taboo advertising underneath. Symmonds is not the first track athlete to do this, Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson actively sold space on his shirt during the 2005 season (when he won the IAAF World Championships). It is a common phenomenon in Boxing.
“I’ve never had a problem speaking out about something that bothers me, The biggest thing that rubs me the wrong way is that governing bodies want to control the space I feel I should control.”
 Personal records
- 400 m outdoors - 47.45 (Dublin, Ireland; July 25, 2012)
- 800 m outdoors - 1:42.95 (London, August 9, 2012)
- 800 m indoors - 1:46.48 (Valencia, Spain, March 9, 2008)
- 1500 m - 3:36.04 (Los Angeles, California 2012) 
- Mile indoors - 3:56.72 (Seattle, Washington, January 16, 2007)
 Major Victories
- 2012 USA Olympic Trials 800 m - 1:43.92(June 25, 2012)
- 2009 Prefontaine Classic 800 m - 1:45.86 (June 7, 2009)
- 2009 Boston Indoor Games 1000 m - 2:20.52 (February 7, 2009)
- 2008 USA Olympic Trials 800 m - 1:44.10 (June 30, 2008)
- 2007 Prefontaine Classic 800 m - 1:44.54 (June 10, 2007)
- 2007 USA Indoors 800 m - 1:48.73
- 2007 Boston Indoor Games 800 m - 1:48.15
 See also
- USATF: NICK SYMMONDS
- "Olympic Athletics Competition Schedule". IAAF. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- "Complete U.S. Olympic rosters". ESPN.com. August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- Goe, Ken. Symmonds no longer a secret. The Oregonian, June 20, 2007.
- Apple Raceberry JaM
- "Records shattered at the Prefontaine Classic". The Oregonian. June 10, 2007.
- USA Track and Field, June 30, 2008.
- D3 star races to elite ranks, takes Athlete of the Week. USA TODAY, June 12, 2007.
- IAAF profile for Nick Symmonds
- Nick Symmonds' Official Blog
- Wind-aided? No, these performances were decibel-aided, ESPN.com
- Little-known Symmonds gives the U.S. big hopes in 800 meters, ESPN The Magazine