NEW MADISON, Ohio (WDTN) – Last month he won the men’s 800-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials with the fastest time in the world this year. Now this New Paris native is in Tokyo.
Clayton Murphy’s Tri-Village High School Track Coach, Scott Warren said, “We’re not all Olympians, that’s pretty much a given, but you just have to stick with whatever goal it might be and just do your best all the time.” Warren added, “He was just a kid that ran all the time.”
He’s an Olympic medalist and a professional athlete but for the folks in New Paris and here in New Madison, Clayton Murphy is the kid who literally ran around town. A Tri-Village Patriot with a heart of gold, who soon might have a medal to go with it.
“I can’t say that those are dreams I had,” Murphy told 2 SPORTS. “Running around, that was just about enjoying, having fun with what I was doing back then. As I started to develop through college that’s when kind of the professional and the Olympic dream really started to develop.” Murphy continued, “Once I kind of fell in love with it at that highest level in college, and the dream became more of a, I guess you could say, a possibility, a reality. It became something that I really worked towards every day.”
“Success hasn’t changed Clayton, Coach Warren said. “The outpouring of support for that young man is just absolutely unbelievable.”
Clayton said, “It is really special to see the things that the community does and with social media nowadays it’s so easy to see the support. After trials my phone was blowing up, Facebook was blowing up. Instagram, I mean you name it. It’s special to come from such a small town and really kind of make my mark on the world and show that we really can do that from really such a small town.”
Clayton knows he’s not just representing a team or a city, he’s representing the entire country.
“It’s extremely special, said Murphy. “I mean every other meet out of the year I represent Nike and to be able to represent the greatest country and to be able to represent Team USA and the United States of America and have three letters across my chest when I compete, it’s just such a special feeling and it’s extremely motivating and such an honor to be able to do that at the biggest stage.”
Coach Warren said, “When you look at his face before a race, he knows that if things go the way that he has it planned out, everything’s going to be OK.”
Olympic restrictions won’t allow for Clayton’s wife, parents, nor Coach to join him in Tokyo but you better believe his support here at home is as prized as the medal he’s running for.