An Emotional Sanya Richards-Ross Bids Farewell To The Sport Of Track and Field At Historic Hayward Field

2012 Olympic 400 Champion Pulls Up In 1st Round of Women’s 200

July 1, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. — One of the bigger stories of day 1 of the 2016 USA Olympic Trials — Track & Field came when 2012 Olympic 400 gold medallist Sanya Richards-Ross pulled up 200 meters into the first round of the women’s 400 and called it a career. She proceeded to walk the final 200 meters waving the to the crowd as she got a huge ovation.

After the race, we caught up with an emotional Richards-Ross.

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Richards-Ross, who hurt her hamstring at the American Track League meet in Atlanta on June 4, said she felt her “hamstring grab on her” today as she entered the second turn.

“I’ve had such an amazing career so I’m so grateful, and to be able to have my last race to be here at Hayward Field with these fans was amazing,” said Richards-Ross, who said it was perfect to end her career at a such a historic place where she is the track record holder (49.28 from 2012 Trials).

When asked what thoughts popped into her head when she stopped, she replied, “No Rio. No Rio. That’s the toughest part for every athlete. You really want to go to the Olympics. No matter how banged up you are, you still think it’s possible and I just thought, ‘This really is the end of it for me. I won’t get a chance to compete in Rio.’ That was the toughest part but then I immediately thought I’ve been so blessed so I can’t cry. I can’t complain.”

When asked how she’d like to be remembered, Richards-Ross was unable to hold back the tears as she said:

“I think that most fans have seen my heart through my running. For everyone to stand today [and cheer for me as I walked it in], I think that’s what they see, because I don’t win every time I step on the track so I don’t deserve the ovation because I’m always a champion. I think they just see my heart and my determination and my desire to be a good person and so hopefully people saw that a little bit of God in me every time I stepped on the track.

“I think I grew a lot in this sport. My lows have been just as special as my highs. They have  taught me a lot about myself and they made me a better person. So I’m really grateful even for my bronze in Beijing, I think that’s the reason why I won in London – it made London that more special. I think people can relate to that up and down that you are in life. Sometimes you give everything you have and it just doesn’t work out. And that’s ok too. I’ve definitely learned a lot and I’ll forever love this sport.”

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