Lamont Marcell Jacobs is a track star who competed in the 100-meter dash at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Jacobs was born in Texas to an American father and Italian mother. He was raised in Italy with his mom. The 26-year-old Jacobs is a sprinter and long jumper.
Jacobs is a father of three children and has a longtime partner, Nicole Daza, according to his Instagram profile. He lives in Italy with his family. He was competing in his first Olympic games in 2020 in Japan. He goes by Marcell Jacobs.
Here’s what you need to know about Lamont Marcell Jacobs’ parents and family:
1. Jacobs’ Parents Met When His Father Was Serving in the U.S. Army in Italy
Jacobs father, Lamont Marcell Jacobs Sr., and his mother, Viviana Masini, met when the elder Lamont Jacobs was stationed in Italy while serving in the U.S. Army, according to The Associated Press. His father was stationed at Camp Ederle, also known as Caserma Ederle in Italian, in Vicenza, Italy.
Jacobs’ parents moved from Italy to El Paso, Texas, which is where Lamont Marcell Jacobs Jr. was born on September 26, 1994, according to his Olympics.com biograpy.
His mother told the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, “I met Marcell’s father in Vicenza, he was a US Army soldier. I was 16, he was 18. We got married and moved to Texas.”
2. Jacobs Moved to Italy With His Mother When His Father Was Sent to South Korea From Texas
Jacobs moved to his mother’s home country of Italy, specifically her hometown of Desenzano del Garda, when he was only a month old, according to Corriere della Sera, an Italian newspaper, because his father was beings stationed in South Korea.
His mother told Corriere Della Sera that after living in El Paso for about three years, “Marcell was born, but twenty days later his father was transferred to South Korea. It was impossible for us to follow him. I then decided to return to Italy. Marcell wasn’t even a month old. From there a challenge of our own was born. I was a young mother with a child to raise and the great thing is that through the growth of Marcell I had the opportunity to live a new life, new horizons.”
Jacobs said he lost contact with his father after that. Jacobs’ 51-year-old father, Lamont Jacobs Sr., now lives in Tyler, Texas.
Jacobs told Italy 24 News he would run fast when he was a child in the courtyard at his family’s home in Desenzano del Garda. Jacobs said his mother’s family did motocross. He told the news station in Italian, “She immediately told me that she would not let me ride. Too dangerous. And then I imitated the others: I ran around, I simulated the jumps on the garage ramp, I did the crazy and the sounds with the mouth.”
3. Jacobs Says Reconnecting With His Estranged Father Gave Him the ‘Energy to Be Here’ at the Olympics
Jacobs spoke to his estranged father for the first time a year before the Olympics, he told reporters at the Tokyo games.
Before the Olympics, Jacobs told Italy 24 News in Italian, “My father, as a child, I don’t remember him. From the moment we returned from El Paso with mum, our very personal duel match began. At school I was in trouble. Draw your family, the teacher told me: I only had my mother to draw and I suffered from it. Who is your dad, friends asked me as a kid: he doesn’t exist, I replied, I barely know that I bear his name. For years I have built a wall. And when my father tried to contact me, I didn’t care.”
He told the news outlet in Italian that he recently started communicating again with his dad after he began working a mental coach. “It’s not all resolved yet, but at least we’re communicating with dad now. That is, I copy and paste: the Google translator gives me a hand when I don’t understand. I know, I know, I should go back to my table to brush up on English grammar: I know the terms, it’s just that for fear of making a mistake I get paralyzed and keep quiet.”
He told reporters in Tokyo, “I lived all my life without a dad. And when people asked me, who is your dad? (I said) ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ And then we tried to start to have a new relationship with him. For me, that was really important.”
Jacobs said reconnecting with his father, gave him “the energy to be here today” and helped him arrive with a “good mentality,” according to The Guardian. He added that his dad sent him text messages before the 100-meter race, telling him he would be watching and “you can do it, we are with you.” Jacobs said, “I really worked hard with my mind. Because when I was arriving in the really big moment, my legs didn’t work so good. Now, my legs go really good when it’s a big moment.”
4. Jacobs Lives With His Partner & 2 Children in Rome & He Has a Son From a Previous Relationship
Jacobs lives in Rome with his partner, Nicole, and their two young kids, Anthony and Megan, according to his Instagram profile. They were cheering him on from afar while watching TV as he competed in Tokyo. He also has another child, a son, Jeremy, from a previous relationship.
He told Italy News 24 about being a dad, “With Jeremy, who was born when I was only 19, I was not the best of fathers: I was immature, limited, the conflicts with his mother have pushed me away, but now I’m trying to make up for lost time. With Anthony and Meghan, who I had from my partner Nicole, it’s a whole other story. We have a daily life that I missed with Jeremy: I am a present and playful father.”
In a sign of how Jacobs’ relationship has grown with his own father, Lamont Jacobs, the elder Jacobs features a photo of his grandson, Anthony, on his Facebook page along with birthday wishes, tagging Nicole and Marcell.
Jacobs’ partner, Nicole Daza, was born in Manta, Ecuador. Daza is a fashion model, according to her Instagram profile.
5. Jacobs Says He Feels ‘100% Italian’
Jacobs told La Stampa he feels “100%” Italian. He said it is where he was raised, where he had his kids and met his partner. He said he feels Italian “in every cell of my body” and struggles with speaking English.
When asked by Italy 24 News why his children don’t have Italian names, he responded, “Because I have an American surname: Paolo Jacobs sounded terrible.”
He told La Stampa, “As an American I only have muscle fibers, I feel 100% Italian.” He said his mental coach told him reconnecting with his roots before the Olympics would be important. Jacobs told NBC Sports his coach advised him, “You are in your blood American blood, and you need to speak with him to arrive at the Olympic Games and maybe win.”