All athletes must retire. It’s inevitable like death and taxes. At some point, the body isn’t able to run as fast, jump as high and throw as far as it once could. Today’s GladiatHer Crush Wednesday knows all too well the inevitability of retirement. This past weekend American great Sanya Richards Ross gave us her final lap in the 400m at the US Olympic Trials. Her final lap wasn’t run while earning a gold medal in Rio like she envisioned, but we appreciate the lap and her career nonetheless. As an injured hamstring caused her to pull up on the last curve of the 400m preliminary race, the crowd in Oregon refused to let her walk to the finish line in disappointment. They gave one of America’s greatest 400m runners the standing ovation that she deserved. They thanked her for being the champion that she is.
She gave her heart, body and soul to track and field for the past 24 years and in the process she earned 5 Olympic medals (4 of them gold), 5 World Championship gold medals and 1 World Indoor Championship gold medal. She earned lucrative endorsement deals and the respect of her competitors. She also won fans around the world for performing with grace, class and a fire in her eyes that told us she would not be denied. She was an inspiration on the track and in her life outside of it. Beyond being a runner, Richards Ross is a proud Christian, wife and daughter, businesswoman and philanthropist. She is proof of what’s possible when faith and determination collide. Although she bids the track farewell, we know that Sanya Richards Ross has so much more to give this world and for that, she is our GladiatHer Crush Wednesday. #TeamSRR #SRRFinalLap