“Now I can’t say I’m a rookie anymore.”
That’s what Jerome Blake is thinking as he goes into the World Athletic Championships and the Commonwealth Games over the next month.
The 26-year-old is becoming one of the most prominent sprinters in the country and he’s excited for the new challenges coming from these events.
“I’m pretty excited for it, it’s going to be my first one [at the Commonwealth Games],” said Blake.
While Blake is only scheduled to run in the 4x100-metre relay at the Commonwealth Games right now, he will be taking part in the 100-metre and 200-metre sprints, as well as the 4x100 at the World Championships.
Born in Jamaica, Blake and his family moved to Kelowna in 2013 where he became a sprinter. He ran for the Okanagan Athletics Club and attended Rutland Senior Secondary.
Last year, he took part in first career Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“The Olympics was really fun,” said Blake. “It was my first Olympic games and I tried to enjoy it as much as I could cause as we know, it wasn’t a regular experience, Olympics because of COVID. I was wearing my mask everyday and just trying to have as much fun as I can.”
At those games last year, Blake came home with his first career Olympic medal, a silver in the 4x100 relay.
“It’s one of those things that will live with you forever and especially going there, my first Olympics and coming home with a medal, not a lot of people can say that.”
And going into the new challenges over the next few weeks, Blake is taking what he learnt from his Olympic experience into making himself better.
“It’s just the experience, that’s one of the biggest things I’ll take away from it,” said Blake. “Everyone is looking at you as a senior, looking at you to produce when it matters most and I’ve shown I can do that.”
Since March, Blake has been racing in the World Athletics regular season and has been in nine different countries already this year for races.
Blake now lives in Orlando, Florida but is currently back in Langley, B.C. and getting used to the Pacific time zone again as he’s training for the Worlds. The World Athletic Championships begin on July 15 in Eugene, Oregon. Blake said he will be heading down on July 12.
Once the championships end, Blake goes right to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, which run from July 28 to August 8.
After the Commonwealth Games, the hectic schedule continues for Blake as he’s going to attend races in Monaco and Poland.