Alumna Richards-Ross Finds Golden Redemption at London Olympics
McCombs alumna and fan favorite Sanya Richards-Ross won gold in the women's 400-meter race at the 2012 Olympics, finally putting the sting of bronze in Beijing behind her. She also became the first American woman to win gold in the 400m since 1984.
At the same event in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Richards-Ross led for most of the race before losing steam and falling to third in the final 100 meters. She was devestated by the loss, but used it to fuel her preparation for 2012.
"It's really been my main source of motivation going into the London Games," she told the New York Times before the Olympics began. "It was a great learning experience."
In London Richards-Ross started strong then relaxed in the backstretch, letting other runners pass. Then a dramatic surge in the final 50 meters got her across the finish line first with a time of 49.55 seconds.
In a post-race interview with NBC's Dan Patrick, a beaming Richards-Ross outlined her race strategy, which just happens to share a name with a concept any marketing student will recognize.
"We have our 4 P’s. The first 100 is the push phase of our race. Then on the back stretch we try and get into a pace, and on the curve, we position. Then we say pray down the home stretch, but really poise and keep it going for the last 100 meters."
Richards-Ross earned her fourth career gold medal--fifth medal overall--by running the anchor leg of the 4x400 meter relay. The U.S. team dominated the race, beating second-place Russia by almost four seconds.
See below for more photos, quotes, tweets, and videos of Sanya Richards-Ross' 2012 Olympics experience.