All eyes will be on Rio de Janeiro this summer as some of the world’s best athletes compete for Olympic gold. But our eyes will be on one specific long jumper as we chronicle her road to Rio.
Brittney Reese is a history-making track-and-field star. She is the only long jumper (man or woman) to win six World Championships (three outdoor and three indoor), winning her sixth gold medal at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships. She also came in first at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., in May. Reese, who won the gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games, is heavily favored to win gold again at the 2016 Rio Games.
Off the track, the proud Ole Miss alum is committed to giving back to the community, especially speaking to young girls and women’s organizations about empowerment, self-esteem and the importance of women supporting other women. Each year she gives a college scholarship to one male and one female high school senior in her hometown of Gulfport, Miss.
Reese lives in the San Diego area with her 8-year-old son and her dog, Caesar, and trains at the Olympic Training Center there. She is an outspoken opponent of animal cruelty and volunteers with the ASPCA to raise awareness of pet adoptions.
As Reese prepares for the Olympics, we’ll be following and rooting for her. She’ll keep The Root’s readers updated on her progress with weekly video diaries, as well as through chats on Facebook Live, Twitter and Periscope. She’ll also give us an inside look at the USA Olympic trials, which take place in Eugene from July 1 to 3.
Join us in celebrating and cheering on Reese, and make sure you follow #ReesesRoadtoRio for continual updates!
Watch the video below to learn more about Brittney Reese!