Olympic sprinter Ronnie Baker fulfills longtime promise to Willow Crest Elementary School teacher
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Ronnie Baker is fast, and realized his talent at a young age during his time at Willow Crest Elementary School in Anchorage.
“No one could beat me in anything,” Baker said.
Now, Baker is an Olympic athlete who will compete in the 100-meter dash at the Tokyo Games. Fifteen years later, Baker’s grade school gym teacher Leroy Jones recalls how difficult it was trying to get kids to keep up with him.
“He was such an athlete I had to constantly think of ways to challenge him,” Jones said. “We gave other kids head starts, have other students running relays, and have him catch up.”
Baker’s time at Willow Crest was brief — he moved in fifth grade to Louisville, Kentucky, where he was born. Before leaving, he told Jones about his plans for the future.
“I told him when I make the Olympic team are you still going to be here?” Baker said.
Back in Alaska, Jones said he plans to watch his former student on the world’s biggest stage and is proud of him for accomplishing his dream.
“He will always be an Alaskan,” Jones said proudly.
The Olympic sprinter is expected to be a medal contender after a personal best of 9.85 seconds at the trials, finishing a fifth of a second behind Trayvon Bromell who took first place.
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