ESSENCE Network: Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross on Making Your Dreams a Reality

See how Olympic runner Sanya Richards-Ross recovered from a painful defeat to achieve her dreams and how she juggles her personal and professional passions.

Achieving your dreams is not a sprint. Just asked Olympic runner Sanya Richards-Ross who claimed her life long goal as a gold medalist in the 400 in 2012 and now aims to retain her title in next year’s summer Olympics. See how she recovered from a painful defeat to achieve her dreams and how she juggles her personal and professional passions.

Name: Sanya Richards-Ross
Age: 30
Title: Athlete, Entrepreneur and TV Personality
Location: Texas
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica

Twitter handle: @Sanyarichiross
Instagram handle: @Sanyarichross

Her career highlights: One would be winning my Olympic individual gold medal. It was what I had dreamt about when I was nine. To actually cross the finish line first in London, I felt like I ran into my destiny and it was like a fairy tale. And then a really close second would be when I broke the American record. In 2006 I ran 48.7 seconds, it was a record that stood for over 25 years and made me the fastest American ever to run the 400.

Her biggest lesson learned: 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. 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.

Her passion for education: I have an organization in Jamaica called Sanya Richards’ Fast Track Program, which is focused on literacy. It's in Jamaica and we've helped over 700 kids to begin to read on their grade level.  The great education I received in Jamaica laid the foundation for my success in the United States. I also have the Team Sanya Richards-Ross Sports Clinic where my team holds sessions to help athletes and parents achieve success.

Her work-life hustle: 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.

Her superpower: my faith. I've been knocked down quite a few times and people are like, how do you bounce back and I think I'm resilient because of my tremendous faith in God and his perfect timing.
Her tech must-haves: I gotta have my Beats headphones and my iPhone with my Nike Plus Running app and Instagram.

Her beauty bag: I have to have my hair gel, mascara and my MAC foundation.

Her power-style accessory: I love my jeans and a nice, a crisp white shirt on, jeans and pumps. I also love to put on my USA uniform. That moment makes me feel powerful.

Her theme song: "I Was Here" by Beyonce

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