TEXARKANA, Texas — Texarkana native and Olympian Jarrion Lawson is excited to get the opportunity to compete again in the summer games, whether it's this summer or four years from now.
As of today, the 2020 Summer Olympics are to go on as planned.
In 2016, Lawson finished second in the long jump at the U.S. Championships, while winning the long jump in the 2017 U.S. Championships and the 2018 U.S. Indoor Championships.
Lawson continues to train in his new home of Knoxville, Tennessee, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"I've been raised from the standpoint that God is control," Lawson said. "Even with my suspension, I can only control what I can control but I need to make sure I take care of myself. For me, the opportunity stays the same. I'm 25 years old and if things have to be postponed, I'm going to be better if not the same at 26 years old. My biggest thing is staying prepared. We're all in a bubble, because everything with the Olympics is up in the air. My take on it is to stay prepared for the Olympics and if we have to make adjustments, we'll make adjustments.
"Even with everything going on, my training has pretty much remained the same. As far as me getting on the track and lifting weights, I work out by myself. I don't have to worry about large groups of people or anything like that. Everything has mostly been the same my way."
Lawson was suspended in 2018 after a false positive on a drug test after consuming tainted beef.
Along with winning his appeal to return to competition, his move to Tennessee has also been a transition.
"It's a little different than being in Fayetteville," the former University of Arkansas standout said. "It's a bigger city and there's more of a social life here with things to do. Obviously with me, I've just been trying to find some new friends or people to hang out with around here. As far as training, it's been the same as far as facilities with Arkansas and Tennessee. For me personally, I'm in the best shape of my life."
With such high praise and accolades, Lawson recognizes the responsibility he has with not only his community in Texarkana but with Razorback Nation where he won multiple track and field championships.
"For me, it's all about notoriety," Lawson said. "A lot of people may not be able to meet you but people will know your work. I try to always remain myself but I also want people to see the work I've put in. I went to Arkansas because I saw the history and saw all the people that came through, I took it as motivation for my name to be listed beside theirs.
"I want to be the same for someone else coming behind me. I want to inspire anyone coming from where I'm from to do better and better than me in everything."