Tyree Washington is a retired American sprinter. Born in Riverside, California, Washington attended La Sierra High School where Washington decided to join track and field in order to get in shape for football. His path would take a slight turn however, as he soon demonstrated outstanding talents in track and field, becoming the 1994 California State Long Jump Champion. He then went on to attend San Bernardino Valley College.
In 1997, Washington was bronze medalist at the Outdoor World Championships in Athens, Greece and the following year he was the Goodwill Games silver medalist in the 200 and 400 meters.
Later, Washington shifted his sights back to football. He signed with the San Diego Chargers in 1999 but was injured at the end of the camp and released. Washington was picked up by the Oakland Raiders but made the decision to return to track. Despite being 2001’s fastest man in the world, Washington faced several health issues and difficult personal matters from 2000 to 2002.
With the desire to help young kids, Washington took some time to explore other avenues, working as a probation officer in Riverside County in 2002. With a fresh perspective, Washington returned to track in 2003 with what he considers the best year of his track career.
Washington became an Indoor World Champion 400 meter, Outdoor World Champion 400 meter, US Indoor 400 meter Champion and US Outdoor 400 meter Champion. Washington went undefeated the entire year and was ranked number one in the World at the 400m.
Washington ran alongside Antonio Pettigrew, Michael Johnson and Jerome Young in breaking the 4 × 400 meters 1998 world record. However, both Young and Pettigrew were later found to have violated doping regulations during their careers, and the IAAF now list the 1993 US quartet of Andrew Valmon, Quincy Watts, Butch Reynolds and Michael Johnson as the world record holders.
After witnessing the destructive effects of performance enhancing drugs on teammates and having to surrender his title due to the doping violations of his teammates, Washington established KILLAROID, an organization dedicated to educating young athletes on the dangers of sport-enhancing drugs.
More recently, Washington is working on re-branding the organization to focus on educating youth about all types of drug use. He is currently establishing his foundation Athletes vs Asthma, assisting sufferers of asthma, a condition he understands personally. In addition to his activism, Washington also volunteers with the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
A multi-faceted career, today, Washington is a motivational speaker and freelance analyst. He has worked for major networks including Fox 11 Overtime in LA and is a Certified Canfield Trainer in Jack Canfield's Success Principles.
Additionally, in March 2019 Tyree Washington will be inducted into the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Hall of Fame.
Washington currently resides in Kansas with his children and wife, Monica, who is serving in the military.
“I love helping, motivating, inspiring, and giving people hope,” said Washington. “I’ve been through a lot in my life. Everybody has a story. I want to tell my story (and) I want to give hope to people from all walks of life.”
Washington’s philosophy can be expressed in a favorite saying from former SBVC coach Blackman, “Destiny can be delayed, but not denied.”
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