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Mike King

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Christian Taylor, the Olympic gold medallist in the triple jump, with Barbadian roots, is coming here next week.
The United States-based Taylor is arriving here on Monday afternoon and his Barbadian parents Ian and Stephanie, both of whom are from St Philip.
Taylor’s trip, his first here in two years, is under the auspices of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA),  with the involvement of the Ministry of Sport and the Barbados Tourism Authority.
During his four-day trip here, the 23-year-old world-class triple jumper, will visit the museum of the BOA and give motivational talks to at least three schools – Harrison College, The Lester Vaughan School and Hilda Skeene Primary.
He is also scheduled to visit the island’s leading department store, Cave Shepherd, on Tuesday morning.
His grandfather Grantley Taylor, a former general manager of Cave Shepherd, told the WEEKEND?NATION, that Christian was eagerly looking forward to embracing Barbadians and showing off his Olympic and World Championship gold medals.
“It will be nice to have him here. No one from Barbados has ever won an Olympic gold and I am sure many Barbadians will want to see up close what one looks like,”?adding that it was a pity his grandson was never able to represent Barbados.
“Christian came down here and wanted to represent Barbados. His father was keen on that, but somehow it never worked out.”
Christian, who was born in New York and is based in Florida, where he attended the University of Florida, announced himself on the international stage with gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
His incredible fourth round hop, skip and jump was measured at 17.96 metres, the tenth best of all-time. Only four men – Jonathan Edwards, Kenny Harrison, Teddy Tamgho and Willie Banks – have jumped further.
At this year’s World Championships in Moscow, Taylor had to settle for fourth in a high-class competition dominated by Tamgho of France who produced the third best leap of all-time measured at 18.04 metres to strike gold.
Christian’s father Ian, who is originally from East Point, is an information technology project manager at Delta Airlines. Ian, who left Barbados at 17, attended Presentation College.
His mother Stephanie nee Burgess, a hospital director in Florida, is a product of Belair.
Grantley Taylor said a hectic schedule prevented his grandson from visiting Barbados since 2011.
“Shortly after his victory in South Korea at the 2011 World Championships, his focus then on preparing for the London Olympics. It was a busy time as he had to leave no stone unturned for the Olympics and it paid off.
“That is why he is coming now. He took five days off his busy schedule because he wanted to see his family and friends here. Ian influenced him to come and visit the schools here and he is pleased to do that and linked up once more with his old Presentation College school friend Erskine Simmons of the BOA,” he added.
Christian, who will be accompanied by girlfriend Kellie, will be staying at the Radisson Hotel, formerly Grand Barbados.

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