Running track and field, Jodie Williams is from just outside of London and specialises in the 200 metre sprint. This professional athlete will take nothing less than being Olympic champion, and after becoming European U23 Champion at the 200m in 2013, there’s no doubt about it. When she’s not running like lightening, she’s milling around, finding the next cute coffee shop…
JACK: What got you interested in track and field on the professional stage, how did you get to where you are today?
JODIE WILLAMS: I’m a pretty rare case where this is all I’ve ever wanted to do. Most people come from other sports, or fall in to it, but I decided when I was four-years old that I wanted to be an Olympic athlete. I’ve done it since I was a little kid, and I started properly when I was 11 and it all just kind of took off, I never stopped.
J: Was there an athlete who inspired you when you were young that sparked this dream of Olympics and track?
JW: Yeah, there’s this American sprinter called Allyson Felix. My coach, when I was younger always told me that I was like her and that would be someone really good to watch running. She was incredible, she’s dominated since she was 18-years-old and has won countless world championships and she’s an amazing role model – I’ve always looked up to her and now I have the privilege of actually knowing her and racing her, which is incredible.
J: She’s a 400 metre runner as well isn’t she? So why do you not run the 400m?
JW: She only recently stepped up to the 400m, she’s a jack of all trades. 200m was always her main focus and then she moved up. There’s been talk of me doing the 400m in the past and I’ve never really ruled it out, it’s always been something that I’ve said I want to try at some point. I don’t feel like I’m done with sprinting the 200m yet, so when I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted to achieve in that, then I may step up, but we shall see.
J: How do your athletic pursuits positively influence your life?
JW: I think it gives me a really good perspective on things, I’m super fortunate to be able to do what I love and I get to work but it doesn’t really feel like work, it makes me a super determined person with everything I do, I’m very competitive, I always want to be the best in whatever I set my mind.
J: If you weren’t an athlete what other profession would you choose?
JW: A personal shopper because I love shopping, but I also love styling people – so I feel like that would be fun. Or criminal psychology. Realistically, probably criminal psychology, that’s what I would have studied if I’d gone to university and that’s something I was pretty serious about doing.
J: Do you like to workout and train? Is it something you enjoy?
JW: I don’t think you can do what I do if you don’t actually enjoy working out. I just genuinely love what I do and my sport, love working out. I love the competitive nature of it as well, I’m just a competitor through-and-through so I think I’ll always enjoy pushing myself to the limit.
J: Would you say that you’re the ultimate competitor?
JW: Yes I am. I’d say I’m your typical competitor, never happy, always want more, never satisfied with my performances, always have to be the best at everything I do in all areas of my life not just track. I think that’s something that’s always been a part of me. Not necessarily just through sport – I think I was like that as a kid as well, I was always that kid that just wanted more and so yeah, I’m definitely a true competitor.
J: So what do you absolutely love about what you do and what do you hate?
JW: I love the sense of community that track brings – even though we’re all competitors at the end of the day. We all come together because we all have an understanding of what it takes to get to this level. We have a mutual respect for each other, so I love that aspect of track. There’s not much I hate, it’s hard work. You miss out on a lot of normal things, but it’s always worth it in the end.
J: Let’s switch gears, what do you do to relax and get away from it?
JW: So I’m a big coffee snob. I think, as an athlete there’s only so much you can really do in your free time. I think it’s about finding a little niche, I love going to coffee shops and just chilling out, love finding new coffee shops. I like travelling and exploring as much as I can, which is a massive part of my job, so I’m so fortunate in that sense. I’ve always been a big explorer so I get to see new places in the world all the time, which is incredible.
J: What is your ultimate goal in life?
JW: My ultimate goal in life is to be happy, which sounds very cliché, but it’s something that’s very important to me. That’s my ultimate goal, to be genuinely happy in everything, every aspect of my life.
J: What’s your ultimate goal in sport?
JW: My ultimate goal in sport is to be Olympic champion. And I will take nothing less!