Sakari Famous is trying to live up to her wonderful name. A freshman Georgia Track and Field High Jumper from Bermuda, Famous is well on her way.
During a Quick Chat with John Frierson a Staff Writer for UGA Athletic Association before she heads to next week's NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas, Famous talked about her name, life in Bermuda, missing the beach and much more.
Frierson: You have a very pretty and interesting name — does Sakari mean anything special?
Famous: Sakari means the sweet one. That's what my mom named me and I'm glad.
Frierson: It seems to fit.
Famous: Yes, it does. I'm glad it's my name.
Frierson: And the Famous part is pretty unusual, too.
Famous: There are a couple of us in the Famous family, but we're pretty spread out. I have family here in the U.S., and we're all connected. I'm trying to live up to my name, pretty much, through the University of Georgia.
Frierson: Is it weird to be here, so far from home, going to school and competing in a different country?
Famous: It is different but it's a comfortable atmosphere, with friends, my roommates especially, we're close. And mom's close in Atlanta.
The area I can say is a little bit similar to Bermuda because downtown's close (to campus), and in Bermuda everything is close. It's comfortable here, but I do miss home a lot. I can't wait to go home this summer.
Frierson: What do you miss the most? Is there one thing you think of when you think of home?
Famous: I just think of the beach and the clear blue water, and just having fun with friends and family. That's a big deal for me.
Frierson: What other sports did you play growing up?
Famous: I really started out with basketball in the Bahamas, where my mom was going to school. Basketball was introduced to me and then in gym I was introduced to high jump. The gym teacher at the school was like, you should try high jump. That's where it all started, my journey with the high jump, in the Bahamas and then I moved back to Bermuda.
Frierson: When did you know that the high jump was something you were good at and that you enjoyed?
Famous: I think 2013 was a pretty big year for me, that was my first Carifta Games, where all of the Caribbean countries come together and compete. I went there as a 13-year-old and won my first medal, the silver medal. That was a big game changer.
Frierson: Do you ever think about how you're able to clear a bar that's taller than you are? It always just seems incredible to me that it's possible.
Famous: It's an interesting thing to think about, but with the right mechanics and training you can somehow get over the bar with the strength and power you have. It's pretty cool.
Frierson: Track and Field is so interesting to me because you have so many different events and different kinds of athletes, from the sprinters to the jumpers to distance runners and people throwing different metal objects. Are there any of those things that you look at and go, I wish I could do that? Or thank heavens I don't have to do that?
Famous: The distance running is definitely a big no for me; I don't like running that much. I do like the throwing; it's interesting and cool to look at Denzel Comenentia throwing those things so far, but I wouldn't say I wanted to do it.
Frierson: Is there a dish from home that you really miss?
Famous: There's this dish we have, we usually have it on Sundays, and it's called codfish and potatoes. That's a nice simple and traditional Bermudian dish that I do miss and I can't wait to have, cooked by my Nana — sorry, Mama (laughs). I can't wait to have that.