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Richards-Ross opens up in revealing memoir

Lois Elfman | 7/6/2017, 9:58 a.m.
On the track and in interviews, track and field star Sanya Richards-Ross has always been poised and thoughtful.

On the track and in interviews, track and field star Sanya Richards-Ross has always been poised and thoughtful. Early in her career, her father encouraged her to study tape of her interviews and hone those skills in addition to her sprinting.

In her recently published autobiography, “Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life,” the four-time Olympic gold medalist and World Champion presents a candid look into the ups and downs of pursuing athletic excellence, shares extremely personal details about her journey and provides motivation for others to embrace their goals and dreams.

“As someone who traveled a lot and sat in hotel rooms a lot, I read quite a few books, a couple of them over and over again that I felt really helped and inspired me to be great. My hope was to be able to do the same thing in sharing my story and sharing some of my principles and techniques for success,” said Richards-Ross.

In addition to “Chasing Grace,” Richards-Ross also published a book for young readers ages 8 to 12, “Run with Me: The Story of a U.S. Olympic Champion.” Through the books, she wants people to understand her success is the result of tireless hard work, faith and perseverance. The books are published by Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

“I reflect a lot about how my family was a huge part of my success,” said Richards-Ross, 32, who is expecting her first child, a boy, next month. “I think about the sacrifices my mom and dad made. As a soon-to-be mom, it means so much more to me now. They did everything they could so I could achieve my dreams.”

Born in Jamaica, Richards-Ross moved with her family to Florida when she was 12. She now lives in Texas, but considers New York as one of her hometowns because husband Aaron Ross won two Super Bowls as a member of the New York Giants. She retired from track last year after an injury kept her from qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team for Rio and is now a TV commentator, entrepreneur, public speaker and mentor to young athletes. Both retired from professional sports, she and Ross support and motivate each other in new ways and share a passion for health and fitness, but say they won’t push their child into sports.

“I want readers to know that we all have greatness within us and we all face difficult times,” she said. “I want readers to feel anything is possible, no matter what their circumstances are, if they work hard, believe in themselves and trust the journey of life. Tough times build our character…and teach us empathy.”

She concluded,“We’re all on this journey called life, navigating it the best way we can.”