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."

Read more about London 2012:

Britain's Jessica Ennis Wins Gold In Olympic Heptathlon

Uinterview | News: 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius Makes History By…

China's Yu Yang Talks Badminton Scandal, Team USA's Tony…

U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team With McKayla Maroney & Jordyn Wieber Wins Gold

U.S. Olympic Swimmer Matt Grevers Wins Gold, Sets Record

U.S. Olympic Swimmer And Aurora, Colorado Native Missy Franklin On Winning Gold: 'Pinch Me'

U.S. Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Diver Kristian Ipsen Is 'Not Wearing Much'

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympian Phil Dalhausser's 'Late Start' At Beach Volleyball

EXCLUSIVE: Olympian Jessica Hardy Swims 2.5 Hours Every Morning

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Gymnast Jonathan Horton On The London Games

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Gymnast Jordyn Wieber On Training For London Games

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Sprinter Wallace Spearmon On Losing His Medal In Beijing — And Winning Gold In London

Lolo Jones Reveals She's A Virgin

Daniel Craig To Open Olympics At Buckingham Palace

Warrior Star Kurt Angle Is Training For Return To Olympics

Evan Lysacek Wins Olympic Gold

Michael Phelps Makes A Splash In Vegas

VIDEO: Olympic Swimmer Matt Grevers' Proposes To Annie Chandler

Read more about:

Leave a comment