Sprinter Tyson Gay has a new coach and a longer beard to go with a new attitude: He doesn’t really care what people think about him.
Behind that tough exterior, though, masks the pain of having to hand back his only Olympic medal. A doping violation cost him and all his relay teammates the silver medal from the 2012 London Games.
A career full of missed chances, close calls, untimely injuries and that stripped-away medal is nearing its end. The man who used to be considered the biggest threat to Usain Bolt is now often viewed as a bit player in the sprint game. Fine with him, the American 100-meter record holder insists. He’s making one last run at the Olympics, doing it for himself, his family, his fans and nobody else.
“This could restore things for me in my heart,” Gay said on the eve of the preliminaries of 100 meters at the Olympic trials. “I lost something when I gave that medal back. The people closest to me, they know how bad I want that medal. Anyone on the outside? I don’t really care.”
For the first time in quite a while, the 33-year-old Gay has no aches or pains. Well, maybe a little knee soreness, but that’s about it, as he tries to earn an Olympic spot in the 100 and 200. Since becoming the American record holder in 2009, Gay’s body has betrayed him. He’s gone through groin and hip surgeries over the years to keep him on the track.
He fully believes he can keep up with the likes of Justin Gatlin, who is a few months older than him, and Trayvon Bromell, the up-and-comer in the field.
“I’m considered the old one,” Gay said. “I’m going to go out there and give it my best, let it all hang.”

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