US sprinter Darvis Patton retires after 13 years
Barely even retired from sprinting and Darvis Patton is already contemplating a cool, new endeavor — bobsledding.
Hey, it’s worked out well for track stars Lauryn Williams and Lolo Jones, who were recently chosen for the U.S. bobsled national team and are in the mix for spots at the Sochi Games in February.
The American sprinter nicknamed “Doc” needs something to occupy his time after announcing Monday he’s stepping away from track following a 13-year professional career.
“Lauryn was like, ‘You need to gain some weight and do some bobsledding now,’” Patton laughed in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “If they called, I probably would entertain it. I’m not going to lie to you.
“Right now, I’m just trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.”
Patton said it was just “time to move on,” especially after an injury-plagued 2013.
“I wanted to go out on a high note,” Patton said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I wanted it to.”
Patton, who turns 36 next month, earned Olympic silver medals as part of 4x100 relay teams at the 2004 Athens Games and again eight years later in London. He fumbled an exchange with Tyson Gay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, one of three straight mishaps at major meets.
He also was part of a lane infraction that disqualified the team at the 2009 world championships in Berlin and then fell down when he was bumped by another sprinter at worlds in South Korea in 2011.
Those are missteps he eventually made peace with and made his medal in London all the more meaningful because, “I got an opportunity to redeem myself.”
“I never would’ve imagined that this sport would’ve taken me this far,” said Patton, who’s from Dallas and went to college at TCU. “I saw things I thought I’d only see on a map. I’m grateful for the people who helped me, who paved the way for me.
“I just put it out there that I was going to retire, so people would stop asking when I was going to start training. The response has been overwhelming. I hope people remember me as a good guy and a good athlete as well.”
Over his career, Patton twice ran the 100 meters in 9.89 seconds. The world record is 9.58 by Usain Bolt in 2009.
As for his retirement plans, well, he doesn’t have all that many. He’s going to chase around his two young kids — which will keep him sprinting — and begin a business project with long jumper Dwight Phillips. He might even become an agent or pursue that bobsled avenue, with eyes toward 2018.
“I truly don’t know what I’m going to do,” Patton said. “I’m just kind of enjoying everything right now.”