MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (HUBBARD) -- The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games are set for Friday evening. WMOT News has discovered a surprising number of Mid-State connections to the games.
Tommy Haynes was a three-time All American under Middle Tennessee State track coach Dean Hayes. Haynes broke the NCAA and national records in the triple jump and set the top mark for an American at the 1975 Pan-American Games.
But perhaps the highlight of his career came when he represented the United States at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Although Haynes thought he would compete again in the 1980 games, a US boycott of the Olympics meant that 1976 was his only shot.
“It really was a blessing to me and I took away also that you have to stay focused and stay in the moment, because I knew that that time would come and go. I didn’t know it at that time that it was going to be a one-time shot, but you always have to treat it like it is anyway.”
Haynes finished fifth in the triple jump in Montreal. He’s now a track coach and is currently a candidate for city commissioner in Frankfort, KY.
Haynes is a 1988 inductee of the Blue Raider sports hall of fame.
EDITOR'S NOTE: WMOT News thanks reporter Alex Hubbard, News Editor at our news partner Sidelines, for researching and writing this series.