There was a time when Derrick Atkins didn’t know if he was ready to compete in the international spotlight.
He didn’t know if the rewards that come with racing at the international level were worth being away from his girlfriend and daughter for months at a time. Atkins only knew he was prepared to hold his own against the fastest athletes on Earth.
“The emotional side of it, the mental approach, it takes a lot out of you,” Atkins said. “Midway in the season, I felt it. There was a point I had to take a break, regroup and come back.”
Atkins’ determination to compete at the highest level paid off significantly. He used the spring and summer of 2007 to cement his place as one of the world’s fastest men.
The Nassau, Bahamas, native capped his stunning 11-race summer with a silver medal in the 100-meter dash at the International Association of Athletic Federations World Championships in Osaka, Japan.
The seven-time Dickinson State national track and field champion is in town this week to take part in the school’s homecoming festivities. As a tribute to his recent accomplishments, DSU has made Atkins the honorary grand marshal of Saturday’s homecoming parade. He is also signing autographs at the Blue Hawks’ football game that afternoon.