How Did This Olympic-Medal Winning Sprinter Get His Plans Back On Track For Gold in Rio?
Walter Dix started running track when he was 6 or 7 years old, guided by his father, Washington, a middle school track coach and former sprinter. The Fort Lauderdale native set a Florida record in the 100-meter dash when he was in high school and won a scholarship to Florida State University, where he set a junior record in the 100-meter and won numerous NCAA championships as well as gold and silver at the Olympic Trials in 2008 – earning him one of the highest-value endorsement contracts with Nike in track and field. Dix won bronze medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008.
Dix graduated from Florida State in 2008, with a social science degree concentrating in anthropology, and turned professional.
Dix won bronze medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008.
He missed the 2009 World Championships because of a hamstring injury at the U.S. championships, but in 2010, he won the 100-meter and was runner-up in the 200-meter sprints at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The next year, he won silver medals in both races at the World Championships, but another injury at the 2012 Olympic trials kept him out of the London games.
Back on Track
After a year of recovery, Dix is back on track and aiming for the 2016 Olympics, with meets in the US, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and others. He hopes to qualify for the Continental Cup.
The Right Stuff, which he started using in 2010, will help. “I was looking for something to help me stay hydrated, healthy, able to compete, keep my electrolyte levels up and keep me from dehydrating,” he says. “I was introduced to The Right Stuff by my friends and my brother. I started using it 30 minutes before my races. I felt a dramatic improvement in my hydration. Ever since then, I’ve been using it to keep hydrated.”
The focus on nutrition came when he turned pro, Dix says, especially after the 2009 injury.
“In college, you have class and study hall, most of us are just out there competing,” he says. “In 2008, I was a kid. When I became a professional, that’s when I really started to focus on diet and nutrition.
When I became a professional, that’s when I really started to focus on diet and nutrition.
I talked to doctors about nutrition, keeping healthy, keeping my body and legs hydrated. Dehydration is the problem.
Dix figures The Right Stuff® electrolyte drink additive will give him a boost for the comeback.
“This is the year when I really got a chance to use it,” he says. “I began using it and started to see a dramatic improvement. I’m not getting as tired or dehydrated. On my first meet, I felt the same impact of not being so tired after running and not getting “dry muscles”. I can feel my muscles loosen up and not be as tight as they used to be.”
The Right Stuff is a prelude to every meet and often part of the training regimen that Dix has intensified this year. “In the past, when I have gotten hurt, I wasn’t able to work as hard in training,” he says. “I am now maximizing my fitness so I can compete and be more aerobically fit. I train two hours a day, five days a week.”
Dix, who is training at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, hopes to enter a graduate program in health administration and work as a college track coach or sports administrator eventually – after achieving his personal goals in the field. “I’m trying to win a gold medal at the Continental Cup and hopefully win the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 2016,” he says.