Gay’s potential Olympic trip

Posted by Darren Urban on June 13, 2012 – 9:40 am

William Gay spent his Tuesday night on the internet, looking up flights. He’s hoping to go to the Olympics in August, although no, the cornerback is not some crazy two-sport star.

His girlfriend, Natasha Hastings, is a track star, Olympic veteran and gold medal winner in 2008. He’d like to support her effort in the 2012 Games in England, and coach Ken Whisenhunt is open to working with Gay. It’s not a simple process, since the cornerback will be in the middle of training camp. The finals for Hastings’ events are on Aug. 5, which is the same day the Cardinals play the Saints in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. That’s a long way from London.

“I’d like to see at least one round, fly out and fly back from the game,” Gay said. “Coach told me to try and set up a schedule and let him know, because when I called her and told her the information, she was excited.”

Hastings was a part of the USA’s top 4×400 team in 2008. She’s hoping to compete in the individual 400 too. She and Gay have been together for almost two years – “July 23” he notes proudly as the anniversary – after meeting in Miami when Gay said both were “chilling with friends.” The relationship grew despite long distances and both working as pro athletes.

Gay was long a track fan before that, though. He ran in high school – “Obviously, I wasn’t that good,” he said – and playing for the Steelers, he would attend the Penn Relays. Even now, some of Hastings’ friends don’t get why Gay sits up in the stands during competitions, until she tells them Gay is there to watch the whole meet, not just her.

He’ll talk to her – athlete to athlete – after a competition about what she did right or wrong, just like the two have similar discussions after Gay plays a game. Both are smart enough to let the emotions of a bad outing fade first, Gay said with a smile.

There’s also a dream scenario: “In the same year … she starts it off with getting a gold, I finish it by getting a Super Bowl ring,” Gay said.

Gay will watch Hastings in Eugene, Ore., next week in the U.S. Olympic Trials. In the end, that’s the first step. Nothing else really matters.

“I’m going to look up flights and see what I can do and this week and next week, show Coach my plans,” Gay said. “Then next week, she’s got to make it happen. Because if she don’t go (to London), all the plans go away.”

UPDATE: Hastings did not make the team.

Posted in Blog | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Gay’s potential Olympic trip”

  1. By SteveG on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    It is unfortunate that track is only a big deal in the US during Olympic years. I was raised in the UK, (left MANY decades ago) but during the Ovett/Coe years, national TV would go to their races before packed stadiums in all European countries.

    When Dave Bedford was pounding the track (5 and 10K), the country (UK) would come to a halt to see what he would do that day….

    To this day, most top track stars earn the vast bulk of their income in Europe. It’s odd because I, like many, find track utterly compelling, yet for 3 years it borders on invisible and these amazing people labor in obscurity…Pity…

    Unfortunate timing but it’s good to see Whiz and Gay working it out as best they can. (Also fun to note that Gay is one of just a minority of men that can actually keep up with his young lady in a foot race.)

  2. By Steve on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    Darren: Speaking of track, any chance we’ll get to see you run an electronically timed 40 yard dash in front of a live audience at next years combine a la Rich Eisen?

  3. By Darren Urban on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Me in the 40

    Goodness, I can’t think of anything more horrifying. Electronically? Just get a sundial.

  4. By infitzwetrust on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    Dang she looks like she can beat me up lol

  5. By alexmannsportskings on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    Got the Sundial ready Darren.

  6. By roygreenunderrated on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Dang I want to be the sports agent of the offspring these two produce!

  7. By Eazy E on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    I’m glad coach whiz is letting him go because it is like a once in a lifetime kinda deal with both of them being athletes and a couple. Tom Coughlin faced a similar scenario with another cb of his in aaron ross and he didn’t let him go because of training camp and other bs. It really sucked because his wife Sanya Richards, who probably races with natasha on relays, is really good and did well back in ’08. Sanya and Natasha are female beasts in track though, they don’t be playing. I remember seeing natasha in the ESPN magazine and I think she was in the Body Issue where they talk about how the athletes body physique we’re and it was incredible to see how hard the athletes have to work to get their body in shape period, but in her case for track meets and the aforementioned Olympics. BTW, aaron ross is now a jaguar after leaving as a free agent and coach mularkey already said he can go.

  8. By Eazy E on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Also, they called her the ”400M Diva” after accidentally describing the ladies track team as the ”Gamecock Divas” in honor of the college she went to in the South Carolina Gamecocks.

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