© Copyright – 2012 – Athletics Illustrated
Derek Drouin is an athlete from Sarnia, Ontario who has competed for the past three years at the University of Indiana and captured the NCAA Championship title in the High Jump. During this outdoor season he captured the Diamond League title in the event and enters the Olympics for the first time riding a wave of confidence.
Indoor – 2.33
Outdoor – 2:31
Andrew Maloney: Coming off such a major foot injury last season what did that teach you and how did that effect your mindset entering this year?
Derek Drouin: It was obviously a major hardship that I would have to get over with the Olympics being just over a year away. The injury really taught me that things are going to happen and you are going to have obstacles in your way, but you just need to find ways to get over then and keep your focus on the ultimate goal.
AM: What were your goals entering this year and what did you and your coaches at Indiana do to continue your progress?
DD: My ultimate goal for the past four years has been to qualify for the Olympics so the injury didn’t change that. I was, however, forced to kind of make smaller, more immediately attainable goals for this year as I tried to get back into jumping, period, before jumping at an elite level. We really took things slow at school so rehab took up mostly all of my time during the first semester. During the season I red-shirted indoors to try to work back into jumping and it worked out perfectly as I was right back into it by April, when the qualifying period started.
AM: Having never been at an Olympic Games, are you excited, nervous or unsure what to expect?
DD: Yes, I have never actually attended an Olympic Games but, like almost every athlete, I have been watching the games with envy for as long as I can remember and I always knew someday I wanted to be an Olympian. I’m incredibly excited to compete, to be in the village and for the entire experience. For the time being I am keeping my nerves in check though I’m sure everything will be heightened once I actually get there.
AM: What are you trying to accomplish in London?
DD: Basically, I want to walk away from London and say that I’m proud of how I did and know that I did everything that I could have done. I will be happy to gain the experience but I’m not just going there for the experience; I’m going to compete. First and foremost, my goal is to qualify for the final. Once you’re in the final, anything can happen. I feel that if I jump the way I know I can, and everything goes well, a top-5 placing wouldn’t be out of the question.
AM: What are your plans and goals beyond this year?
DD: I will be heading back to Indiana at the end of August for my final year of school, so the Olympic Games will be my last meet of the season. I have a full NCAA season next year, but after that I plan to continue jumping for at least a couple of years, continue to improve, and hopefully bring a little more experience and confidence into Rio 2016.