This week we had the chance to chat with two-time Olympic triple jumper Kenta’ Bell.
In addition to competing in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games–in Athens and Beijing respectively–Bell also won a gold medal in the 2001 World Student Games in Beijing. He attended Northwestern State University where he was a three-time NCAA All-American. In 2010 he won the USA Outdoor Championships and has been recognized by Track & Field News as one of America’s top ten triple jumpers for nine consecutive years.
ProCore Sports: What was it like representing the USA?
Kenta’ Bell: I hate to compare it to being a soldier sacrificing his/her life on the battlefield, but when you put that uniform on there is a sense of pride in knowing that you are a representative for the United States Flag. The Olympics themselves are War Games.
PCS: How would you explain the triple jump to someone who has never seen it?
KB: I like to describe the triple jump as a power ballet. It’s much like the long jump where the athlete leaps into the sand pit. The long jump takeoff board is 12 feet back from the sand where the triple jump is 44 feet thus allowing for three ground contacts of either right-right-left or left-left-right. The individual who lands in the sand farthest away from the board wins.
PCS: How do you train for the triple jump?
KB: Triple jump training is intense and rigorous. I combine the lifting of a thrower or strength athlete, the speed training of a sprinter, and the flexibility and coordination of a hurdler all into one. Therefore I do lots of plyometric exercises, lifting, and short sprint work.
PCS: What is your favorite or most memorable athletic achievement?
KB: It’s hard to narrow it down to one because I am such a driven and goal-oriented person. I would have to say that making my first Olympic team with my parents in the stands seeing me compete professionally for the first time is one of my most fond memories.
Below is a video of Bell performing the triple jump. If you want to learn more about him, be sure to follow him on Twitter.