Sanya Richards-Ross impressed us all when she raced across the finish line in the 2012 Summer Olympics claiming the gold medal for the 4x400 relay dash. But it hasn’t been a straight shot for the athlete, who missed achieving her goal just four years before her big win. In a recent interview with Essence, the Olympic athlete shared the biggest lesson she’s learned during her athletic career, the missteps, and discovering that the best she could do is to trust herself.
“In 2008 I was favored to win the Olympic gold medal in the 400. People always said that I went out too fast. I didn't finish strong because I was so mentally drained and fatigued. I didn't sleep the night before,” Richards-Ross said. “It was probably the lowest point of my career because I wanted the race so bad. It definitely made me a whole lot stronger. This made winning in 2012 that much sweeter. And I just learned to trust that timing. I learned that you make plans and as much as you work hard towards those plans, you also have to be flexible and just trust you're always where you're supposed to be.”
Richards-Ross lists her gold medal win as one of her biggest accomplishments as well as breaking the American record for the 400 in 2006. So what keeps her focused and plowing through obstacles?
“What helps me juggle my personal and professional life is just to always be clear on my priorities. As much as I want to be a great professional, it's more important for me to be a great wife and a great daughter and a great sister,” she said before adding that her faith is also plays a major role in her resiliency.
She also makes time to give back through the Sanya Richards’s Fast Track Program in Jamaica, which promotes childhood literacy, as well as the Team Sanya Richards-Ross Clinic. The group focuses on helping athletes and their parents reach their goals.
To learn more about how the Olympic gold medalist juggles work and life and what she keeps in her makeup bag, click here.
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(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF)