Nick Willis is a professional New Zealander middle-distance runner who is a five-time Olympian. In fact, he is the countries only two-time Olympic medalist in the 1500 meters.
Alongside being an elite runner, he is also brilliant in using tactics to win races. In most of his races, he goes unnoticeable until the final few meters to give him the edge.
He recently qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and mentioned that this would be his last appearance in the Olympics.
Nonetheless, he is very excited for his final chapter and to pass on the torch to the younger generation.
Moreover, the middle-distance runner is very optimistic about his final lap to win yet another medal for his country.
After never winning a gold medal in the Olympics, he is more motivated to win this time.
Furthermore, he made his Olympic debut in Athena 2004, after which he won a silver medal in Beijing 2008. Following his first Olympic medal, he placed ninth in London 2012.
However, Ian came back to win a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Hence, his fans and family are hopeful to see him add his third Olympic medal to his resume.
Before getting into details about the Olympian’s life and career, here are some quick facts about him.
|Full Name||Nicholas Ian Willis|
|Birth Date||25 April 1983|
|Birth Place||Lower Hutt, New Zealand|
|Nick Name||Not Available|
|Education||University of Michigan|
|Father’s Name||Not Available|
|Mother’s Name||Not Available|
|Age||39 years old|
|Height||6 feet (183 cm)|
|Weight||150 lb (68 kg)|
|Profession||Track And Field Athlete|
|Team||Team New Zealand|
|Active Years||2000 – present|
|Kids||Two; Lachlan and Darcy|
|Net Worth||$1 million to $5 million|
|Social Media||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
|Merchandise||Track and Field Equipment|
|Events||800m, 1500m, 1 mile|
|Last Updated||July, 2022|
Early Life, Family, And Education | Nick Willis
Along with his brother Steve, a personal trainer, writer, and television personality, Nick Willis was born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
They were very active in sports as children and participated in many competitions. The Willis brothers were well known for being exceptionally quick while they were students at Hutt Valley High School.
Not to mention, they are the only brothers in New Zealand history to break the record for the mile in less than 4 minutes.
Additionally, Don Dalgliesh served as the brothers’ high school coach. He also genuinely assisted Nick in honing his foundational athletic abilities.
He was able to pursue running as a career because of this. He also competed in and won numerous running competitions, building a solid reputation for himself as a young athlete.
The University of Michigan awarded him a full athletic scholarship as a result. As a result, he started to study and train in the United States while also taking part in some local competitions.
Ron Warhurst, who left his position as University of Michigan’s head coach in 2010, was his coach during this time.
Nick persuaded his former college coach to work as his personal trainer going forward after he retired. Ron agreed to his request, and they have been cooperating ever since.
Age, height, and weight of Nick Willis
Willis just celebrated his 39th birthday on April 25, 2022. He takes great care of his diet, nutrition, and health because he is an athlete.
The professional runner is 1.83 meters tall and weighs 68 kg. Additionally, his body is in good enough shape to run quickly.
But many people believe he’s underweight for his height. He is happy nonetheless and follows a special diet to keep his weight under control.
In addition, he follows a rigorous training schedule to maintain flexibility in his body and reduce the risk of injury.
Running and Olympic Career of Nick Willis
Commonwealth Games Gold Medal and Olympic Debut
At the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships, Nick competed and won the 800m and 1500m double when he was seventeen.
He also ran a mile in 4 minutes, 1.33 seconds the following year, becoming the fastest secondary school student in New Zealand.
He gained more recognition in the track and field community with this performance. Consequently, he was chosen for his first Athena Olympics appearance in the Men’s 1500m in 2004 after four years.
Despite his best efforts, he was unable to reach the finals and finished the competition in 13th place. Although he was more motivated as a result of the defeat, his spirit had only just begun to shine.
As a result, at the Golden League series a year later, he broke a 1500-meter national record that had stood for 32 years.
He won a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in 3 minutes, 38.49 seconds, thanks to his energetic performance.
In addition, that same year, he won two first places at the New Zealand Track & Field Championships. As a result, in May 2007, his IAAF world ranking rose to 16th place.
Unfair Olympic Race and the First Olympic Medal
There was no question about his selection for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after some incredible performances.
After passing the first two qualifying rounds, he made it to the final round with some experience on his side. His experience and maturity did indeed show as he won the bronze medal.
On his second attempt, he won his first Olympic medal. However, due to doping allegations against the winner and runner-up, officials thought the race was unfair.
As a result, Rashid Ramzi, the first runner-up, was disqualified after further investigation. Nick’s bronze medal was consequently upgraded to the silver medal he won in 2011.
The investigation continued, and ten years after the Olympic competition in 2008, authorities discovered that the champion had also used a prohibited substance.
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Willis was supposed to be declared the 2008 Olympics winner in light of this incident. The long-term retention of any drug prohibition, however, was extremely uncommon.
As a result, Nick was never declared the new champion and the champion’s disqualification was never made public.
2012 Olympic disappointment and atonement for the defeat
The New Zealander runner was chosen for the third time in a row in 2012. He has now officially named the New Zealand Olympic flag bearer after the selection process.
He was also the oldest runner to qualify for the 1500-meter final at age 29. Unfortunately, he performed poorly in finals, which he described as heartbreaking and embarrassing.
Additionally, this defeat inspired him to give his games more of his time and attention. He was therefore completely ready to atone for his Olympic defeat in Rio 2016.
Thus, he ran more intelligently this time rather than just hard. He was moving very slowly for the first two laps in order to save energy for the finish.
He started to sprint frantically to hold onto third place just as he was about to take off. He came in third overall because he was unable to close the gap for first or second place.
After the game, Willis expressed his happiness at having made up for all the mistakes made in London.
Tokyo Olympics in 2020
In his final Olympic competition, the five-time Olympian will represent New Zealand at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Additionally, Willis claimed that this was the first time that being chosen for the Olympics had made him happy.
Similarly, he added that while he used to be confident and certain about his choice, this time he was a little unsure. The two-time Olympic medalist declared that it was enjoyable and she enjoyed the uncertain experience.
Nick hopes to win gold for New Zealand in his final Olympic appearance because he has never won an Olympic gold medal.
injuries and surgery
The athlete had hip surgery for a labral tear in 2009. After the procedure, he could hardly run, much less walk.
The Olympian underwent another procedure in 2010 to repair the meniscus in his knee shortly after his recovery. In addition, in 2011 the doctors operated on him once more.
Relationship, wife, and children for Nick Willis
The two-time Olympian’s longtime partner Sierra Willis is his wife. Additionally, the union took place on September 30, 2007.
There aren’t many specifics about their marriage because the Olympian runner prefers to keep his private life private.
Nick has, however, been outspoken enough to mention his wife’s support. Sierra has also been mentioned by him as joining Ron on his coaching staff.
She has mastered every aspect of the sport after spending more than ten years together. She therefore constantly challenges her husband to be better.
She actually rejected Nick’s suggestion that he should retire and persuaded him to earn the ranking points he needed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics instead.
The couple genuinely admires each other’s perspectives on life. As a result, they have enjoyed life with their two gorgeous sons, Lachlan and Darcy.
Lachaln, their oldest son, was born in 2012, and was followed by Darcy, who was born in 2018.
Nick Willis’s earnings, endorsements, and net worth
The middle-distance runner’s career as a specialized sprinter is where he made the majority of his wealth. His exact net worth is not known, though.
Nevertheless, a lot of sources assert that he is worth anywhere from $1 million to $5 million.
He has gotten some sizable sponsorship and endorsement deals as a result of being a track and field superstar.
One of those agreements was with the well-known clothing company Adidas. However, on May 11, 2020, he revealed via a Facebook post that he had ended his seven-year partnership with Adidas.
However, he mentioned working with Tracksmith as their Athlete Experience Manager in his post that came after that. As a result, he and his family are living comfortably.
The social media presence of Nick Willis
The runner from New Zealand is active on social media. As a result, he has an Instagram account with over 800 posts and 32.8 thousand followers.
Willis primarily uses his Instagram account to document his life as a professional runner. He also has numerous posts where he can be seen working out and running.
Nick adores and loves his family very much. His entire account is also filled with pictures of his family.
Nick has 24.3 thousand followers on Twitter and is also active there. He tweets about how much he admires his loved ones, especially his wife, and primarily posts news about track and field.
Similarly, Ian has 5.4 thousand Facebook fans and is active there as well. He posts news and training videos along with some memorable images, similar to his Twitter and Instagram handles.
Nick Willis | FAQs
Is Nick Willis going to the Tokyo Olympics?
The two-time Olympic medalist, Nick, will be playing in Tokyo and will try to beat his record for the 2016 Rio Olympic.
Did Nick Willis run again after his knee surgery?
Yes, the middle-distance runner ran again after his knee surgery in 2010. Moreover, he is representing his country in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held in July 2021.