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Jamie Nieto
  • February 27th, 2007

Jamie Nieto

American athlete and Olympian Jamie Nieto is a world ranked high jumper for the past few years. We last interviewed him in 2004 and we caught up with him again recently for another round of interview. We questioned him on athlete funding in the USA, his training progression, the highly exciting NCAA and advice for student athletes. He trains 3-4 hours daily where his hard work has brought him the U.S. outdoor title in 2003, three-time NCAA All-America and an Olympic debut 2004

Height: 1.93m

Weight: 76kg

Date of Birth: 2nd November 1976

Personal Best: 2.34m (High Jump)

Website: http://www.jamienieto.com

High Jump Progress over the years

  • 2004 2.34m (7’8) 2.32m (7’7.25)
  • 2003 2.31m (7’7) 2.30m (7’6.5)
  • 2002 2.30m (7’6.5) 2.22m (7’3.25)
  • 2001 2.27m (7’5.25) 2.23m (7’3.75)
  • 2000 2.23m (7’3.75) 2.22m (7’3.25)
  • 1999 2.30m (7’6.5) 2.29m (7’6)
  • 1998 2.25m (7’4.5) 2.22m (7’3.25)
  • 1997 2.15m (7’0.5) 2.10m (6’10.75)
  • 1996 2.14m (7’0.25)
  • 1995 2.13m (7’0)
  • 1994 2.05m (6’9)
  • 1993 1.93m (6’4)
  1. We last interviewed you in 2004 where you were so close for a podium finish at the Olympics 2004, you were the outdoor/indoor USA champion and World Indoor finalist in that same year. I guess alot has changed since then. What has changed? Has you technique improved? Are you more fit? How was your training progress since then. Do tell us …

    I think the things that changed is that once the Olympics was over I felt like I did not have a lot of drive to do High Jump anymore. I felt like I did not care about the High Jump anymore. Then I started to think about what goals I made for myself and how was I going to achieve them. One of my goals was to jump 2.41 or try to reach my maximum jumping potential. So I started to increase the speed in my approach and try to improve my technique. These changes I made are subtle but can improve my jumping by a lot. It has taken me these last couple of years to get used to the things that I have been working on with my technique. I feel like I’m in great shape and training has been going well. I just pray that the things that I have been working help me to achieve the goals I want.

  2. I was told that many of the full time top athletes don’t get much help from your association. Only when you’re selected for Team USA at the trials will the sponsorship comes in. How true is this. How does athlete funding works in the states?

    Funding in the US is not the best and even if you make the team it does not guarantee that you will get sponsored by a shoe company. There are grants that the US offers but grants are hard to get and to get them you need to be ranked top in the world in your respective event. Which does not give you many opportunities to have a bad season. So athletes such as myself are always looking for sponsorship opportunities and any good publicity. So if there are any companies interested in sponsoring me I would greatly appreciate it and you can reach me by my website www.jamienieto.com

  3. How has the funding and sponsorship awarded to you has helped in your jumping career

    When I got funding from the US it helped me because it took less stress off my mind so I did not have to worry about paying for travel and most of my training cost. When I get sponsorship from companies I would do appearances and autographs or whatever kind of publicity that the company needed commercial etc

  4. How is your preparation for Beijing Olympics 2008. What steps and phases are you taking/planning to peak there?

    My preparation for the Beijing 2008 Olympics are going well. My training is going as expected and I feel like I’m right on track to competing well at the games. The steps I have been taking are like I previously stated which were working on my technique, getting stronger, and faster. If things go like I would like and God blesses me to stay healthy and continue to become even more confident then I believe that sky is the limit.

  5. Do you think high jumping gets its fair share of the spotlight compared to the more popular events like the sprints. What do you think can be done to make high jumping a more ‘popular’ sport. Maybe getting more kids more involved? etc …

    I think if we can find a way to market the high jump a little better and involving high jump more in the media then I think that we can get more recognition. I’m not sure how to do it but I’m sure there are people out there who probably have some good ideas if there are some people out there who have some good idea’s then please email me from my site and let me know I would love to hear from you. As for getting as much spot light as the sprinters do, I do not believe that will ever happen because it is not as fascinating to have the title of the Highest jumper in the world where as the Fastest Man in the world holds more merit to people.

  6. From what I’ve seen, read and heard, the NCAA at college and university level is a very exciting time to be. How has that phase in your life being in school and training shaped into who you are now

    When I was in college my goal was to get my degree as well as a slew of other athletic goals. To me being involved in the NCAA was like a first step to becoming a great athlete in let me know that if I could compete and beat some of the best high jumpers in the nation then I had a chance to compete and beat some of the best jumpers in the world. When in college I competed at the world university games and this was my first time over seas. This opened up a whole new world to me and made me realize what I wanted to do even more. Which was be an Olympian and try to be the best High Jumper in the world. I’m happy that I went to college because I can not High jump forever and at sometime I will need to get some kind of real job so having my degree basically sets me up for my future because I knew that I probably would never get rich from high jumping.

  7. We’ve plenty of student athletes here but most will succumb and give up the sport for academic matters or other personal reasons. How do you juggle studies and training back then and stayed focused. Does the thought of giving up ever crept in your mind?

    Juggling school and athletics is hard but I felt like one I got into a routine it became that much easer for me. I think it is mainly time management that plays an important part when your in school. What I did was go to school in the morning then in the afternoon I would go to train and then later that night I would go to study hall. That worked great for me and I knew that there was a means to an end. I never really felt like giving up in college because I knew what I wanted to do and I have and had a strict passion and love for track and field and fulfilling my goals. There are obviously days when you don’t want to train or you feel like you are doing this all for nothing but everyone has those days. The people who find success are those who endure through those days that they want to quit, stay positive, and keep pressing on to achieve their dreams.

  8. Are you training full-time now or are you working now too? As an athlete you can only perform at your best to a certain age. Sprinter peak at 26-28 age range. For high jumpers what is considered high jumpers age peak;

    I was working and training but I recently lost my job due to the travel I do and so now I’m just training full time. It can be a hard life but that is why I’m always looking for sponsorships and grants. I believe high jumpers peak a little later and can hold there peak for longer. I believe the ages are between 26-34 meaning that the beginning of your peak could start at this 26 and 34 would be the full end of your peak. I feel like I’m a late bloomer and that I will still jump higher then I already have.

  9. Ever thought of going into coaching? I bet you’ve alot of experience to impart aspiring young athletes

    I have thought of coaching but I do not have a passion for it so that is something I probably not do. I feel like I have a passion for entertainment so I will probably do something like advertising or marketing. I have my Bachelors degree in marketing and this is something I would be interested in doing. I thank you for the opportunity of the interview and I hope it blesses some people. Remember your only limitations are what you believe! Good Luck! Jamie Nieto

Thank you Jamie for participating in this interview!


Posted by Uncle Sha.
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