Today, August 24, is the day that I won my Olympic gold medal in 2004 in Athens Greece. Not only did I win the 100 meter hurdles but I broke the Olympic record with a personal best time of 12.37!
It is very hard to put my feelings into words but one word that I can use to describe it is relief. I spent so much time and sacrificed so much in order to accomplish a feat as huge as winning the Olympics. I thought I would never stop smiling; the moment was filled with happiness and was so surreal. I wished that my victory lap and medal ceremony would never end. I wanted to stay there forever and just bask in my glory.
But, it wasn’t only my glory I owe so much to so many people who supported me for so many years while I trained for that moment. Without my family, friends, coaches, medical personnel, teammates, fans, track & field governing bodies, and officials; an accomplishment as big as winning an Olympics Gold Medal would not have happened and I am so grateful for all of the support. It was and still is the highlight of my athletic career! And is my most favorite medal! I have received more medals and all of them are important to me and represent something significant but, my Olympic Gold medal is my favorite by far!
In 1988 I decided that I would win the Olympics and 16 years later it happened and the Olympic record that was broken in the 1988 Olympics is the exact record that I broke! It was a long 16 years with many ups and downs, disappointments, as well as highlights on and off the track. Whenever I watch the video I get a little nervous before the gun goes off and when I watch myself cross that line I still get chills! Some people are fortunate enough to be on more than one Olympic team and win the Olympics more than once! But, for me it was one and done so to speak!
It’s very hard to believe it has been 10 years since that moment time has really flown by! A decade later and I still feel like celebrating but, I do not want to do it alone. I want to share my moment with everyone! I know I should have started what will be my week long celebration 1 week ago and ended today on my anniversary but I have been so swamped! I live a real life with real life time constraints therefore, I decided to start today and finish on August 31st. And besides it’s my anniversary so I can pretty much do what I want right?
In addition to posting fun pictures and memories all week on social media of myself, I am hoping that you join me by sharing pictures and or videos of yourselves with your favorite medals.
Do you have a moment similar to mine in some way on some level?
Maybe you won a medal at the Olympics or World Championships.
Maybe you won a medal in a National or junior National championship or world junior or youth games in any individual or team sport like track & field, swimming, soccer, basketball etc!
Or maybe you received a medal for a science project, academic decathlon, or anything else educational or performing arts etc.
Maybe you compete in marathons, half marathons, or triathlons.
Anything that you received a medal for. You didn’t have to win or even place! A participation medal is important as well because participating is half the battle!
I received a medal for my first 5k, I certainly did not win, it was a participation medal but it is significant for a couple reasons: 1) because I ran the entire thing and finished in a better time than expected and 2) I beat Allyson Felix which means I am 1-0 against her! 🙂
Whether something ends public victory or your own victory every medal has a story. So, if you have a medal for anything I would love know about it! It doesn’t matter what age you are now, what age you were when you won your medal(s) from 1 to 101 we should celebrate them and we should celebrate you!
There is not prize or award for this, it’s just about participation and recognition of dedication and hard work. I hope that you will join me in celebrating my 10 year anniversary by hash tagging your video and or picture with #MyMedals and #MyStory because we all have a story and we all want to hear yours!