High jumper Jesse Williams stays grounded by fixing up homes

High jumper Jesse Williams stays grounded by fixing up homes


EUGENE, OR - It's not every day you see a world champion high jumper painting his own house.

"I take pride in my porch. I just got done painting this not too long ago," said Oregon Track Club Elite's Jesse Williams.

2011 was a career year for Williams. He cleared his lifetime best in the high jump (7-9.25) at the U.S. Championships to win the national title. He followed that up with a first place performance at the world championships.

"Yeah, my favorite store is Costco, but my second favorite store is the Home Depot," explained Williams.

When he's training or competing, Williams is as focused as any athlete. But when he's away from the track or gym, Williams likes to get his mind off his craft.

"It's easy to get caught up in being almost too focused on jumping," said Williams. "That can wear you out. So, it's good to have a distraction such as (painting his house)."

The 28-year old Williams likes to be outdoors. He enjoys fishing, hiking and bike riding, but what he enjoys the most is fixing up his house and the other properties he owns.

"It's fun getting to know people and just being a good landlord," said Williams.

Jesse is also the owner of a gold medal which he won at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Deagu.

"Listening to my own national anthem, it was an unbelievable experience," said Williams. "I'm sure being able to experience that in the Olympics is definitely going to make me tear up for sure. I was pretty close. I could have easily done it at the worlds, but I just kept on thinking, 'Hold it. Hold it. I've got to wait until I win the Olympic gold medal.'"

After all, it's not every day you're on the medal stand at the Olympics.