Nilsen and Miles know how important interaction with fans is for their sport

Signing autographs is pretty cool for the USD Olympian Nilsen
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 11:52 PM CDT
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VERMILLION, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Olympian Chris Nilsen is spending the next week and a half in Vermillion training with Derek Miles for the games in Japan.

He won the Olympic trials and had been over in Europe competing as a professional where he even won in Poland. And afterwards he enjoyed signing autographs for track and field fans who recognize him as one of the best in the world.

It’s a new role that comes with the territory when you’re good...and also have a magnetic personality. And according to his coach, it’s important for the sport. Nilsen says, “It’s just cool. It’s very cool to be the guy that people can look up to and ask for autographs and be approachable. You never want to seem like a mean guy in the sport because then you just die out. So I think that being able to put a smile on a little kid’s face and take a picture with some kids and make their day and be a good representative of the sports and the United States, that’s the goal.”

His coach and 3-time Olympian Derek Miles says, ”Whatever you do in life. If you’re good and you’re in a position where you’re able to give back to something or somebody by making their day by signing an autograph then you do it. It’s just awesome to experience that. It’s really no different than giving somebody a gift on Christmas. If you’re in a position to do that, that’s the enjoyable part of the sport.”

Derek is working with Chris on a daily basis and will be making the trip to Japan with him. I’ll have lengthy interviews with both of them during our Olympic coverage starting July 23rd on our Olympic Zone shows every night at 6:30 on KDLT.

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