Trey Hardee Video Interview, U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Decathlete
U.S. decathlete Trey Hardee left the London 2012 Olympics with a silver medal and a bright future ahead of him. On August 9, under the help and guidance of coach Mario Sategna, Hardee, 28, won the silver in the men’s decathlon after posting a score of 8,671. Hardee finished second, just below fellow American Ashton Eaton, giving Team USA its first pair of 1-2 finalists in over 50 years. For Hardee, there’s nothing that compares to representing the USA in the Olympics. “Stepping into an Olympic setting, where the whole world is watching and you’re in a stadium and it’s 80-100,000 people; it’s really tough to describe,” Hardee told Uinterview exclusively. “You know you represent the greatest country in the world and you’re there to prove it, you’re there to show off, you’re there to represent your country the best you can.”
Born in Birmingham, Ala., Hardee was always a true competitor who was willing to try any sport to keep him active. Before he became a decathlete, Hardee envisioned himself playing in the NBA as he first took up basketball. After failing to make the varsity basketball team at Vestavia High School, Hardee joined the track and field team during his senior year. His athletic talent caught the attention of recruiters from Mississippi State University. Eventually, Hardee took part in Mississippi State’s track and field team as a pole vaulter.
It was there that his college coaches began to take notice of his abilities and encouraged him to take up other events, such as the decathlon and heptathlon. Hardee found success as he finished second in the 2004 NCAA Decathlon. After Mississippi State dropped its track and field program in 2004, Hardee transferred to the University of Texas. Despite adjusting to a new school life, Hardee barely missed a beat as he was able to win the 2005 NCAA Decathlon championship, while finishing in third place in the NCAA Heptathlon final. Hardee ended his college career on a high note, setting the NCAA decathlon record with a then-personal best of 8,465 points. For all his accomplishments, Hardee was named the 2006 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Field Indoor Athlete of the Year.
After college, Hardee continued his track and field success onto the professional level, where he has become one of the most accomplished decathletes in the last few years. In 2008, Hardee was the runner-up at the Olympic trials, finishing fourth overall. Hardee has made two appearances in the World Athletics Championships (in 2009 and 2011), bringing home the gold medal both times. In 2009, Hardee’s talents were recognized as he earned the prestigious Jim Thorpe All-Around award. In 2010, Hardee brought home the silver medal in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in heptathlon.
I eat a lot of pistachios, so I probably won’t stray too far from those. I really like red and green peppers — I can put those on anything. And probably quinoa. Quinoa is something I can put on anything, and it just takes on that flavor. Packed with nutrients, carbs and protein, just all-around healthy. The one thing I’m going to splurge on after the Olympics .... Oh goodness, I think I might beeline it to McDonald’s after the Olympics.
My workout regimen consists of weight room stuff every morning, at 7:30 in the morning to about 10:30 or 11:00. Then a quick lunch, and then back out on the track at around 1:00 until about 5:00 or 5:30 in the evening, with running, throwing, jumping, technical sessions. That’s five days a week, and then on the six day, all I do is run in the mornings, and then I have the seventh day to rest.
To mentally prepare for an event, it’s not really a ritual, it’s more of a routine. There are certain things that I have done since I started doing decathlons that we haven’t changed. The mental rehearsal of any given scenario on every event, whether that’s the wind, the rain, the competitors, how I’m feeling, what else is going on, I kind of run myself through any and every scenario, so that when the time comes and I’m actually in the moment, I’ve already rehearsed what’s happening and what’s about to happen.
It’s tough to describe, to have USA across your chest. When you’re here in the States, it’s a little bit different because obviously you represent the U.S. — you’re an American, and you’re here. But going abroad, and stepping into an Olympic setting, where the whole world is watching, and you’re in a stadium and it’s 80-100,000 people; it’s really tough to describe. It’s almost an arrogant crime. You know you represent the greatest country in the world and you’re there to prove it, you’re there to show off, you’re there to represent your country the best you can.