After 21 days in Rio, Clayton Murphy is ready to return to his normal life.
The Olympic 800-meter bronze medalist and Tri-Village graduate won’t be getting a break, though.
He has a meet in New York next weekend and is scheduled to run in Europe after that.
There’s also a fall class schedule at the University of Akron to tackle – not to mention handling all the attention that comes with competing on the international stage.
Of course he has no complaints.
“Ever since I made the trials and the Olympic team, the support has been great for the last two or three months,” Murphy said. “Someone asked me the other day if these interviews get tiring, and I said no because the support I’ve gotten from everybody I know and everybody I don’t know, this is my way of saying thank you and giving back and sharing my experiences with them.
“For a lot of people, this is their first experience of knowing someone who was in the Olympics, so it’s cool to be able to share that experience with them.”
ARCHDEACON: A pretty amazing feat
While he set a goal to be an Olympian earlier this year, he admitted he might not have expected to claim a medal. That was something no American had done in the 800 at the Olympics since 1992.
“It’s really cool because it’s such a tough event to qualify for the final in, and the last Olympics in 2012 we had two Americans qualify for the final and they placed fourth and fifth and at the time they ran the fastest American times ever and didn’t medal,” Murphy said. “That just shows how tough the event can be from year to year.”
Preparing for his fourth year at Akron, Murphy hasn’t actually made it home to southwest Ohio yet, but he’s looking forward to getting to thank everyone for being behind him, even from thousands of miles away.
“The support is awesome,” he said. “The watch party was cool. It gives me chills to watch it. That kind of support has been great. I was asked at a press conference how I felt being an individual on the track, and if I felt pressure, and I said no because I feel like there’s a team behind me with my coaches and family and girlfriend and all the support from the entire state of Ohio.
“That support has kept me motivated because there are a lot of days leading up to the Olympics I could have been like, ‘Oh I’ll sleep in today and not work out,’ but having the entire state behind me and entire family and friends behind me kept me motivated for sure. It’s cool to be able to share my experiences and bring a medal home and let people take as many pictures as they want with it and ask as many questions as they want because I don’t think I could have done it without everyone’s support.”