Athlete Resource Center - Athlete Spotlight: Jesse Williams | Eastbay

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Jesse Williams, High Jumper, US

Copywriter, J. Sisko | Photographer, C. Wild | Videographer, C. Wild

Date Updated on: 4-24-12

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Reaching New Heights with a World Champion High Jumper

Jesse Williams won the gold medal in the high jump at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics while wearing his trademark long socks. He sailed over the bar at 7 feet, 8 1/2 inches, winning the first high jump world title for an American in twenty years.


In high school, Williams set the state indoor and outdoor high jump record, and he placed fourth at the 2002 World Junior Championships. Jesse also played football, long jumped, hurdled and wrestled, placing fifth at the North Carolina State Wrestling Tournament as a senior. He says Eastbay had the coolest catalog back then and that he would give his mother a “wish list” for new wrestling and football shoes. Williams went on to star at the University of Southern California, where he won the NCAA Track & Field Championships indoors and outdoors in both 2005 and 2006.


Jesse jumps in the Nike Zoom HJ III because “it’s designed for jumping.” He says: “It’s stable and that’s what I look for in a high jump shoe. It’s my favorite shoe”.


As a member of the Team Nike/Oregon Track Club, Jesse says his childhood dream was to someday compete in the Olympics. He reached that goal in 2008 and is looking forward to qualifying again at the 2012 U.S. Track & Field Trials in front of his adopted hometown crowd at legendary Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

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