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Support an unsponsored athlete - Paris 2024

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Thanks for taking the time to read my story. My name is David King, I’m a 110m Hurdler from Plymouth (UK). This page helped me to achieve my dream of competing at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics!
Below is my story which I wrote in the middle of the pandemic year of 2020:


Loved track and field since I was a kid! Moved to Bath in 2012 to train with coach James Hillier. Represented GB for the first time in 2013. Won multiple national championships. Somehow found myself fighting for a spot on the team for the 2016 Rio Olympics! Sadly just missed out... but it was then that I realised that my dream of becoming an Olympian was actually realistic.

Not long after…

I was added to British Athletics funding programme. Dropped from funding after 2 seasons despite setting new PB in 2017. Started work as a griller at Nandos! Competed at the Commonwealth Games. Won British Champs a total of 5 times. Became very exhausted and begun to lose passion for the sport. Change NEEDED!

After a great deal of thought, lots of conversations and many reservations, I decided that the best training setup for me was in Phoenix, Arizona. Coach Tim O'Neil had set up a world-class hurdles training group called Phoenix Track Club and offered me the once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of it. I could not say no to an offer this incredible!

Since joining Phoenix Track Club I have learned so much and my passion for the sport has truly been reignited. I am inspired and challenged every single day by my teammates and I could not imagine a better training setup. When the pandemic hit in March I was lucky enough that I had just touched down in Phoenix which, initially(!), was not too badly hit so we were able to keep training as a socially-distanced group on a football field. Considering we were training on grass, we were rounding into great shape! Then it was announced that the 2020 Olympic Games had been postponed.  This was a huge blow to all of us but we continued to train just as hard nonetheless. It was challenging to keep training without a goal or potentially any competitions at all in 2020... but we stuck at it and actually made some good progress. I'm glad that we kept up with training as I was lucky enough to participate in some competitions in Europe at the end of the summer season. I ran the fastest time I've ran in 3 years, won my fifth British title and placed third in a Diamond League race!

Through a combination of my Nandos earnings and some prize money that I had collected over the previous few years I worked out that I had saved up enough money to be able to fund my time in Phoenix until the 2020 Olympics. Unfortunately though, like many of us, the pandemic has thrown my financial situation and future plans into disarray since the Olympics are now due to be held in 2021. 

I am a completely self-funded athlete and I now only earn money through competing. 2020 has seen the cancellation of many competitions and a reduction in the prize money on offer at the few competitions that were able to be held. I have set up this GoFundMe in hopes that I can raise enough money to keep training with Coach Tim O'Neil and Phoenix Track Club until the 2021 Olympics. My parents are incredibly supportive and have always helped me out when I have needed it, but funding an entire year in Phoenix is something that they are unable to do.

After making the bravest move I have ever made in my life, it would be an incredible shame not to see it through. I would be hugely grateful for any donations that you are able to make. You will be helping a self-funded five-time British Champion to achieve his dream and make the team for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. Hopefully in 2021 I will be able to give something back to all of you.

UPDATE 1 (May 2021):
Your incredibly generous donations allowed me to return to Phoenix for the majority of the winter training and pre-season period. I am so thankful and ensured that I spent every second in Phoenix doing something to make your donations worthwhile. I am now in the shape of my life and have just returned to Europe to begin my competition campaign! Any further donations will help me to pay for the extra costs associated with competing during a pandemic - each time I travel I need to pay for multiple tests Covid tests to allow me to fly, race and return to the UK. Donations will also help me to pay my Phoenix Track Club coaching fees. I appreciate each and every one of you! 

UPDATE 2 (June 2021)
We are half way there towards making the team! Yesterday I ran a HUGE personal best (13.37) and in doing so achieved the British Athletics Olympic qualifying time! Thank you all SO much - without your donations this would not have been possible! The next step is to keep racing and running as fast as possible so that I can prove why I deserve that ticket to Tokyo.

UPDATE 3 (July 2021)
WE DID IT My dream has come true. I am going to the Olympics! I want to say a massive heartfelt thank you to every single one of you who donated. You have directly contributed to making this possible and without you it wouldn't have happened. Back in 2019 when I was presented with the opportunity to go out to America to train with Phoenix Track Club, I knew it was an opportunity that I could not miss. I took a massive risk... I left my job, I moved out of my apartment and back in with my parents, I left my friends and loved ones to go to train in a country that I had never even visited before. It was so scary but as soon as I got their I knew I was in the right place. The Olympics were then postponed and I realised that I needed help and that's where you came in. Without you I genuinely would not have been able to stay for the extra year. I am so thankful and I am so glad that I have something to show for your donations. I will be able to add three letters "OLY" after my name and stand proud as an Olympian. I am so excited to get out to Tokyo to represent my country, my family, friends and everyone that has supported me❤️

UPDATE 4 (March 2022)
After what has been a rollercoaster of a year I am sitting here, after an incredibly successful indoor season, as an unfunded and unsponsored athlete. While I achieved my dream last year and I’m now in the shape of my life, I am still having to find other ways to keep doing what I love. I am currently working a part time job inputting results and dealing with administrative tasks for the Power of 10 ranking site and I’m squeezing in primary school inspiration day visits in my spare time. I have learned to get by as an unfunded, unsponsored athlete but any help you might be inclined to give would be hugely valued and warmly appreciated. I have an agent looking for deals for me around the clock - hopefully a big brand will see value in working with a world indoor finalist who is on the up and has luck on his side (if you watched the world indoor championships this year you’ll know what I’m talking about!)


  • Roland Howard
    • £100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Oliver Thomas
    • £50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • £50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • £500 
    • 2 yrs
  • Robert Clement
    • £30 
    • 3 yrs


David King

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