Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Matthew Centrowitz: ‘This is my last year’

As Paris Olympics beckon, Tirico reflects on 2023
As 2023 nears an end and another Olympic year awaits, Mike Tirico reflects on the gold standards of Simone Biles, Mikaela Shiffrin, Sha'Carri Richardson, Ilia Malinin, Caeleb Dressel, Jordan Stolz, Erin Jackson and more.

Rio Olympic 1500m gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz plans to make 2024 his last season.

“Mentally where I’m at with it, like this is it for me,” he told Flotrack on Saturday night. “Like this is my last year. This is it, so, of course, I wouldn’t be here racing and continuing to do it if I didn’t think I would give myself a shot come end of June to make that Olympic team.”

Centrowitz, who in 2016 became the first U.S. Olympic 1500m gold medalist in 108 years, hopes to make a fourth and final Olympic team by grabbing one of three spots in the 1500m at June’s trials in Eugene, Oregon.

The 34-year-old said last year that he planned to “ride off into the sunset” after the Paris Games but, at that time, did not definitively say that 2024 would be his last year.

Centrowitz placed 10th in the 1500m at the July 2023 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships after not racing from November 2021 to December 2022 and having ACL surgery in May 2022.

“It was really hard coming back, especially at my age last year, but there were some times where I was like, I had a little glimmer of hope, but just getting your butt kicked time after time and running 1:56 (in an 800m in February 2023) and 4:06 (in a mile in February 2023) when you’ve run 1:44 is demoralizing and depressing,” he said, adding that he’s ahead of where he was at this time last year.

From 2011 through 2021, Centrowitz made all eight Olympic or world championships teams in the 1500m, taking world medals in 2011 (bronze) and 2013 (silver) in addition to his Olympic gold in 2016.

He is the lone active U.S. male runner who has won individual Olympic gold.

He was eliminated in the Tokyo Olympic 1500m semifinals after taking second at trials behind fellow former Oregon Duck Cole Hocker.

The new top American is Yared Nuguse, who placed fifth in the 1500m at last August’s world championships, then broke the American record in the mile at September’s Prefontaine Classic.

Centrowitz is older than any previous male or female U.S. Olympic 1500m runner, according to the OlyMADMen. No American has raced the 1500m at four Olympics.

“I just want to finish up on a high note and ride off into the sunset with a smile on my face,” he said.