Albany’s Angelo Taylor, left, and his U.S. teammates hold up their silver medals they won in the 4x400 hurdle relay finals in London.
Seasons and championships and wins and losses come and go in every athlete’s career, but when you’re an Olympian representing your country — arguably the pinnacle of sports — you’ve got the smallest of windows every four years to make your shot count.
And in 2012, at age 33, Albany native Angelo Taylor tried his best to do just that in what was likely his final Olympic Games after a storied track & field career.
Taylor — a three-time gold medalist between the 400-meter individual hurdles (2000 and 2008) and as a member of the U.S.A.’s 4x400 relay team in 2008 — entered the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on a mission to make Olympic history. Taylor, a former Georgia Tech star, was seeking to become the first hurdler in Olympic history to win three individual gold medals in a hurdles event and surpass American legend Edwin Moses.
Unfortunately for Taylor, he finished fifth in the finals after fading down the stretch and was forced to set his sights on medaling with the 4x400 relay team so he wouldn’t leave London empty-handed.
Taylor was a late add to the finals groupings after one of his teammates was injured during the prelims, and Taylor — along with Bryshon Nellum, Joshua Mance and Tony McQuay — ran a heck of a race and finished second to win silver, giving Taylor three golds and one silver to likely cap a 12-year Olympic career.
Taylor won’t say yet whether he plans to try and run again at age 37 in Brazil in four years, but if he does, he can be sure of one thing: Everyone back in his hometown will be watching the only Olympian to ever come out of the Good Life City besides Alice Coachman.
State titles and milestones are one thing, but competing — and winning — on the world’s biggest stage at the Olympics is in a class by itself. And that’s why Taylor’s silver medal at the London Summer Games is The Herald’s No. 3 sports story of 2012.