U.S. Sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross Finally Gets Her Olympic Gold
U.S. Olympic sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross, 27, took home the bronze medal in Beijing 2008, but third place felt bittersweet. Those 49.93 haunted Richards-Ross; yet they also inspired her to do better the next time around — which she did, sweeping the gold in the women’s 400 meters at London 2012 in 49.55 seconds. “I worked so hard for that, and I prepared for this moment over and over for the last four years,” Richards-Ross told The Washington Post. "What I have learned is you don't win the race until you win the race. I knew I had to cross the finish line first to call myself the Olympic champion," Richards-Ross told The Seattle Times.
So she did. Jamaican-American Richards-Ross surged in the last 100 meters and brought home America’s first track and field gold medal at the London Games. "I just kept saying, 'You can do this, you can do this,' " Richards-Ross said. "I just dug really deep and I'm very happy." Her victory was also shared with her parents, who moved to America when Richards-Ross was 12 to advance her running career, and her husband, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Aaron Ross, who missed out on part of his NFL training to support her in London. "You finally did it, you finally did it, babe," Ross told her. "Enjoy the moment."
Her fellow teammate DeeDee Trotter, who finished third in 49.72, was also supportive. “If anyone can get it, it was her,” Trotter told The Washington Post of Richards-Ross. “She has worked hard for it, and she has completed her dream for herself.” Although Richards-Ross had won gold in the Athens and Beijing Olympics in the 4×400 relay, which she’ll be competing for at London later this week, the 400m win is her first individual gold medal. "The run was phenomenal," Richards-Ross said, though she admits that it the past four years were challenging. “It's a huge weight off my shoulders."
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