1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Kenny Harrison returns to Atlanta
to teach his craft with Project Triple Jump
CONYERS, Ga. – Kenny Harrison, who set a still-standing Olympic record of 59 feet, 4-1/2 inches in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, is returning to the metro area for the first time in a coaching capacity to help lead our Project Triple Jump clinic at Heritage High School in Conyers, Thursday-Sunday, November 14-17, 2019.
The clinic – which begins Thursday evening of that weekend and concludes Sunday morning – is open to any interested athletes and coaches. It will involve training sessions and classroom instruction. The registration link is HERE (https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/meet/386514/register) and information link HERE (https://www.nationalscholastic.org/clinics/triplejumpcamp).
Harrison – who now resides in his hometown of Milwaukee and still maintains a high level of competitive fitness at 54 – joined the Project Triple Jump staff in 2018, working with Head Coach Peter Pratt, also the Bahamian national coach, and Project Coordinator Macka Jones from El Paso, Texas. The Project is hosting its fall clinic in Georgia for the first time. The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF), a non-profit that supports high school and Junior-age (Under-20) track and field in the U.S., launched Project Triple Jump in 2011.
Eight elite prep triple jumpers from around the country are selected to train with the Project each year, with the 2019-20 group including Jayla Brown of Powder Springs, Ga., a McEachern High School junior.
The Atlanta Olympics were the pinnacle of Harrison’s career, which landed him in the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2013 as one of the greatest T&F athletes in history. Harrison was a national class prep in Wisconsin and then a 3-time NCAA champ at Kansas State. In 1991 he won the IAAF World Championship in the triple jump, but missed the 1992 Olympics due to injury. But in Atlanta in 1996, he not only set the Olympic record, but defeated world-record holder Jonathan Edwards. Twenty-three years later, Georgia native Christian Taylor and Will Claye are the only other triple jumpers in history ahead of Harrison on the all-time list.
“It’s awesome to be coming back here to be able to work with our triple jump kids and teach our craft,” said Harrison. “And it’s an honor to be back in Atlanta, in a track and field/triple jump capacity, and to be in the city where the Olympic record still stands. This clinic will benefit track and field in the Atlanta area.”
Harrison also said he hopes that as the Project Triple Jump clinics continue to progress, that they can attract athletes from other sports who will benefit from the principals, techniques and drills taught by him and the other coaches. He would also like to educate participants regarding the history behind the ’96 Olympic triple jump. The final of the event took place the evening of July 27 that year, less than 24 hours after the Centennial Olympic Park bombing that rocked the world at 1:20 a.m. that same day – about 18 hours earlier. After the decision to continue the Games had been made, Harrison prevailed despite the anxiety that affected all events and participants.
Photos by Walter Pinion from the NBNO on-field TJ clinic in June, 2019.
About the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation
The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) was founded in 1990. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 c (3) organization with the mission of opening doors to the world for our youth, through athletics, and providing them opportunities to succeed. That includes supporting high school and junior-aged track and field athletes in the US through national high school competitions, including the New Balance Indoor and Outdoor Nationals; clinics and event-specific special projects; vigorous grant programs, which enable high school athletes to compete around the country, at USATF Junior Nationals, and internationally; and with program development grants, which are awarded in the winter and fall each year. The NSAF provides approximately $250,000 in grants annually. For information about how to get involved with NSAF, please visit https:/www.nationalscholastic.org.
About Project Triple Jump
Project Triple Jump was launched in the Fall of 2011 with the ongoing goal of identifying emerging elite youth and junior triple jump talent and provide them with the best technical and training methods available. As a “podium project,” the ultimate goal is to maximize athletes’ development to become international level jumpers in order represent the United States in Olympic/World Championship events. For more information, please visit https://www.nationalscholastic.org/clinics/triplejumpcamp