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Moderne Day Olympian


By Roxana Vosough

To be an Olympian takes focus, drive, and great commitment. Athlete John Nunn represented the United States for his second Olympics in Racewalking. The sport, popular in Eastern Europe and Latin America, consists of maintaining a circular hip rotation and an arm swing. Nunn began the sport in college with the encouragement of his father, who was also an avid racewalker.

When Nunn is not racing he spends time with his daughter, Ella, working diligently on their rising cookie company, Ella’s Cookie Company. Nunn, spoke to Mode-Moderne Journal from London about his experience:

Roxana: What brought you to the London 2012 Olympics?
 I made the 50k walk team by winning the 50k Olympic trials back in January. I have an 8-year-old girl, Ella, who is a huge motivation for drive and me. I wanted her to see the Olympics at an age she could always remember.

Roxana: What is it like living in the Olympic Village and/or being amongst the worlds greatest Olympians?
John:I am having a great time in the village. It’s fun to see all the other athletes. The apartments are very basic: a bed and a nightstand. They are small and we share them. In fact, I moved my bed to the living room so that I could have some more space. The food is pretty good. We have a choice of world cuisine. The dining hall is open 24 hours a day.

Roxana: How did it feel to be apart of the Opening Ceremonies?
It is always an honor to participate in the Opening Ceremonies. This was my second and still very special. It just doesn’t get old. Standing in the tunnel right before you walk in is a huge rush of ‘here we go.’ It was a lot of fun and will be a lifetime memory.

Roxana: How does this Olympic experience thus far compare to your experience in Athens?
The villages are close to the same where ever the games are located. It’s a bit easier to get around here in London with the transportation. I actually feel like I belong here now, with this being my second games. I walk around with a little more pride than I did last time.

Roxana: How has the energy been in London?
It’s so exciting. Everyone is so happy. Everywhere you go people want pictures and to trade pins.

Roxana: What has been your morning routine since you arrived?
I wake up around 8am and go to the dining hall and get some breakfast (bread and some juice), then I get ready for practice. We are training at a track that the USOC has secured for the American team. I’ll head to Victoria park and do long walks if I need to. Get back to the village and get a massage and treatment, get some food and rest. Send emails, talk to family, etc. It’s a bit like Groundhog Day when you’re getting ready for your competition.

Roxana: Racewalk, how would you describe the sport?
One of the toughest events in the games. It is the most grueling event in track and field. I go 31 miles and have to maintain rules the whole way. It doesn’t get a lot of respect, but I can walk a mile in 5:49 and do a marathon in 3:25:00.

Roxana: What state of mind does it take to compete?
I find myself setting everything else aside and just focusing on the next mile I have to walk in the race. I don’t think about anything else when I am training and competition.

Roxana: What athlete or sports are you most interested in seeing?

John: Honestly, with my race happening at the end of the games, I don’t really plan on seeing many events. There are not any that I’m just dying to see. I'm here to race, not to party. Last time I raced the 20k and had the second week of the games to relax and play around with seeing other events. This time its different. I may go to some this week but its just not a focus or priority.

Roxana Vosough, 25 is the founder and publisher of MMJ.

​​​​​​​​​​​​Watch John Nunn on the Today Show (aired July 30, 2012) where he taught the cast how to Racewalk:





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