Bermuda Olympian Tyrone Smith, who struggled to find enough Olympic qualifying competitions during the pandemic and was unable to earn a spot in Tokyo. If he had qualified, Smith would have become the first Bermudian male athlete to compete in four Olympics.
Instead, Smith has begun his post-competition life with a new job at a consulting firm in Atlanta and a recent MBA from the University of Texas. With fans barred from attending competitions, Smith watched on television as his wife cried and struggled to push through the injury.
“I’ve been gutted not being there myself to compete,” Smith said Monday. “It’s amazing how little that seems to matter right now with what’s happening to my wife. Right now, I couldn’t care less about my situation. I’ve had my opportunities. I really wanted this for her so badly.”
Though Smith has retired from competition, the Bermudian national team has asked him to compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games, for which he already qualified. He would like to do it as a gesture of thanks to the federation that has supported him over the years, but he is not sure his demanding work schedule — “I’ve got a big-boy job now,” he joked — would allow him to train properly.
He plans to continue his running and strength regimens in retirement. His knees would love it if he never jumped again, but Smith isn’t sure he won’t try it now and then.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself if I see a sand pit,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for more than two decades, going back to the first time I did the standing long jump in the fourth grade.”
Smith purposefully timed his MBA to coincide with the end of his competitive career so he would have something else on which to focus. All the time and energy he spent becoming a world-class athlete will be channeled into his new career, he said.