Culver City High School Alumni Isaiah Jewett will be running in first heat of the men’s 800 meters at the Tokyo Olympic Games tonight, at 5:50 PST. “I am a person that is going to fight until the end, I’m not a person that is going to give up,” he said.
According to the LA Times, the 24-year-old Inglewood native and NCAA champion from USC will don the trademark sunglasses that help him cope with a vision issue, and he will attempt to become the first American to win a gold medal in the 800 since Dave Wottle in 1972.
“The initial start to my Olympics dream,” he said. “[was] just wanting to beat my sisters in something.”
For inspiration, Jewett lost himself in cartoons.
His reading and overall confidence improved by voraciously powering through Japanese comic books — “We were at Barnes & Noble so much, I think they took the chairs out because of us,” his mother said — and he could not get enough of anime television shows such as “Naruto,” “Haikyu!!,” “Beyblade” and “My Hero Academia.” If the characters could overcome obstacles and learn valuable life lessons, so could he.
“I would watch these cartoons and they would make me feel like I could become a superhero,” he said. “Cartoons are the reason why I kept running. It’s the reason why I kept going, even though I was losing all the time. I just kept going because I had these shows.”
To watch Jewett on his show, the games are available on all NBC platforms, from broadcast to streaming services.