Sanya Richards-Ross, JAmerican Gold Medalist
The black community in America is very diverse. People who live in the North have different traditions and culture than those who live in the South. African immigrants are most recent Black Americans. People from the Caribbean and more have been migrating to this country for a century. Despite racist immigration policies that banned black immigration for several decades Caribbean Americans from Marcus Garvey, James Mc Kay, Shirley Chisholm, Sidney Poitier, Colin Powell, Harry Belefonte, Patrick Ewing, Tim Duncan, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Gil Scott Heron and Eric Holder have made indelible contributions to America. Sanya Richards-Ross is no exception.
Richards-Ross is the first runner, male or female, to reach Olympic finals in both 200 & 400 since since 2000. She also won individual bronze medal for the 400m race in 2008. The following year, Richards-Ross became World Champion, winning a gold medal in the 400 meter race repeated this performance in the 2012 Olympics Games. On making the 2012 Olympic team Sanya tweeted”Making my 3rd Olympic Team is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve never been more focused, determined, excited! It’s everything.”
Richards-Ross was born in Kingston and immigrated to America at the age of 12. In high school, she lettered in Track and Field and Basketball in high school and was a member of the National Honor Society, graduating with a 4.0 G. P.A. Sanya was named National High School Female Athlete of the Year, USA Track and Field’s Youth Athlete of the Year, Women’s Prep Athlete of the Year. She became an American citizen in 2002.
She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business School of Business 2006 with a degree in management information systems and was inducted into The University of Texas Hall of Honor. She began dating Jacksonville Jaguar’s cornerback Aaron Ross in 2003 and the couple got engaged in 2007 They were married on February 26, 2010 and the celebration which was aired on the WE TV show Platinum Weddings.
he spent five years fighting an autoimmune disease called Behcet’s syndrome. Now, Richards-Ross thinks she may have been misdiagnosed. A visit to a new doctor last year resulted in a new diagnosis and a new treatment and despite ongoing symptoms, she states that she not felt better in years.
Ms. Richard-Ross has not forgotten her Jamaican roots. The Sanya Richards Fast Track Program founded in 2007. The primary focus of the program is to enhance literacy and numeracy; develop students’ readiness for standardized tests; promote an active and healthy lifestyle through sports; and enhance social skills with regards to professionalism and employability.