USA Track & Field star Michelle Carter walks into any space exuding confidence, with a bright smile, carefully combed tresses and a freshly beat face. Carter is the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the women’s shot put and an entrepreneur. Can you say, #BlackGirlMagic?
But life hasn’t always been a crystal stair for this three-time Olympian.
Despite Carter’s accomplishments, it has taken her some time to truly love her body: Carter towered over classmates in elementary school and battled notions of how a female athlete “should look” in high school. And more recently, after the 2012 Olympics, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, causing her to gain 90 pounds.
Carter overcame the hurdles through self-care, acceptance and embracing all sides of herself. “I like throwing this heavy ball into dirt, but I also wear lipsticks and lashes while doing it,” Carter tells The Root.
And, now, an Olympic gold medal later, Carter is spreading her message of encouragement and body positivity to young girls who are athletes through her You Throw, Girl.
“You Throw, Girl is my take on ‘You go, girl.’ And it’s a sports-confidence camp to encourage young girls to embrace all of who they are, as a female, and as an athlete.” Carter says.“As an athlete, you’re going to have muscles, and that’s OK because you need them. And you’re going to be built a little different. But just to use what you have, and make it work best for you.”
Carter believes in presenting her best self at all times—no matter the occasion. “I go by, ‘You look good, you feel good, you do good.’” This athlete believes that by looking and feeling one’s best, the performance will follow.
Watch our full interview above with Michelle Carter, 2016 Olympic gold medalist and shot-put diva.