Sanya Richards-Ross: Running Her Own Show

December 2 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Running Down Your Dreams

We all have that friend, the one who seems to always have her head in the clouds. She expresses her dreams, but rarely works to achieve them. Sure, some of her dreams may be grandiose, but others, she could accomplish if she just put some effort into it.

Today, put a deadline on your dreams, write them down, commit to making them reality. These can be small goals, like, “In January, I’ll wallpaper the bathroom,” or they can be bigger aspirations, like, “By summer 2017, I’ll finally start that Etsy shop I’ve been dreaming about.”


You know a whole group of women who aren’t afraid of setting goals and doggedly chasing them down? Olympians. In the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, American women totally killed it. For the second time in four years, there were more women than men participating on the U.S. Olympics team. All that girl power was a formidable force, with U.S. women athletes earning a total of 61 medals—including 27 golds—surpassing the U.S. men’s total medal count by six.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Sanya Richards-Ross, Former Olympian, Sports Commentator, Entrepreneur

Sanya Richards-Ross may only be in her early 30s, but her gold medals verify that she’s a force to be reckoned with. This track-and-field star is a six-time USA Outdoor 400-meter champion and has four Olympic gold medals and a bronze. She holds the American record for the 400-meter race, so, yeah, she’s kind of a big deal, a role model, a bona fide hero.

Born in Jamaica, Sanya started running when she was just 7 years old, shunning the dolls and make-believe adventures most adolescent girls treasure in favor of some real feet-on-the-ground adventure. By the time Sanya’s family moved to the States, when she was in middle school, her prowess on the track was undeniable.

Sanya turned pro as a sophomore in college, and has since had a truly phenomenal track career. Sadly, her dreams of dominating yet another Olympics were dashed when, in July 2016, while racing in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field, Sanya injured her hamstring. It was a huge blow, but this gallant Olympian bowed out gracefully, and even showed off her talent for broadcasting as a track-and-field commentator during Rio Olympics TV coverage.

And as they say, when a door closes, a window opens. Sanya officially retired from her track career and now spends her time committing to a variety of family businesses and philanthropic endeavors. Several years ago, she opened a salon with her sister called The Hair Clinic, and also runs Ross Elite Chauffeur Service, which she founded with her husband, former New York Giants football player and two-time Super Bowl winner Aaron Ross.

On the philanthropic side, Sanya is heavily involved in Prom Glam, a mentoring program that empowers teen girls. She and her husband also host a showcase called Black Excellence Tribute to provide a platform for African-American artists.

For Sanya, her running career has been full of lessons. Sports instilled in her a strong sense of discipline, of course, but also self-confidence. For instance, when Sanya first moved to the U.S., she felt awkward and disconnected from those around her. But do you know the one thing that everyone understands? Winning. When she got on that track and showed her talents, she shined. And we’re certain that whatever adventures come next for Sanya in life, she’ll bring along that stunning winning attitude of hers!


If Sanya Richards-Ross can do 1,000 situps several times a week, then you can surely tackle the impossible too. It’s like what Muhammad Ali said:

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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