Waiting for the Noah Lyles Games to begin

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From Editor in Chief Sam Jacobs
Waiting For the Noah Lyles Games to Begin
By Sam Jacobs
Editor in Chief

There’s something special about getting to know someone in the moments before they become a global star. 

Earlier this spring, Sean Gregory spent time with Noah Lyles, who may be on the cusp of a historic performance at the Paris Olympic Games (no pressure!), which are set to begin in less than three weeks. If Lyles performs to the level his supporters believe he can, he will be the first American track-and-field athlete in 40 years to win golds in the 100-m, 200-m and 4 x 100-m races.

My favorite part of Gregory’s profile of Lyles, in addition to Dana Scruggs’ photography, is the sprinter’s openness. Lyles’s talks with Gregory about his difficulties training during COVID and his own mental health struggles. 

“Being able to run with passion, and a smile on your face, and turning a race into something for everybody to enjoy, that’s what I consider running with soul,” Lyles says. “It just means that I’m happy,” he says. “I love to do what I do. And that’s a dangerous guy.”

Which athlete are you most looking forward to watching? Let us know. Sam@time.com.

And sign up for TIME’s Olympics newsletter here.

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