Greatness often coincides with consistency. We expect our greatest athletes to always be great; to always display excellence; to always be on. But sometimes greatness is found, not in how well you perform, but in how well you get back up from those less than great performances; how well you stare adversity and failure in the face and refuse to back down. Today’s GladiatHer Crush has given us both levels of greatness. Over the past year and the span of her young career, Kendra Harrison has consistently been one of the world’s top hurdlers. She owned 5 of the top 10 times this year in the 100m and had come gloriously close to the world record on multiple occasions. So when the United States held its Olympic Trials in Oregon earlier this month, the thought of Harrison not making it to Rio didn’t cross many people’s minds. For many, it was her time to go for gold. But as fate would have it, Rio was not in the cards for Harrison. In the finals of the Trials, she finished a disappointing 6th place. 6th place was three spots behind where she needed to place to qualify for the Olympic team and far cry from the greatness that was expected of Harrison.
Mere days later; however, Harrison would show the world that greatness lies beyond perfection. On Friday, at the Muller Anniversary Games, her first meet since the Trials, Harrison ran the race of her life. After suffering the disappointment of missing the Olympics, Harrison got in her blocks and crossed each and every hurdle in world record time. She put failure and heartbreak out of sight and broke a record that had stood for 28 years. Harrison’s performance was a true testament that greatness is built on wins AND losses and that sometimes the best, most memorable moments in life come after some of the darkest, most discouraging. Because she refused to let a major disappointment define her career, her year and even her month, Kendra Harrison is our GladiatHer Crush Wednesday.
Watch her world record setting run below: