Radio Show

Olympic Track Star Sanya Richards-Ross


Sanya Richards-Ross, the five-time Olympic medalist, television personality, and author, sits down with Father Dave to talk about her new book, “Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me about God and Life.” But before they can do that, Father Dave offers Sanya congratulations — she is due to have her first child in August. “I am so excited to finally be a mom,” Sanya says, “It’s just a great time in my life.”

Plus, she’s thrilled that she has not just one, but three books being published, as she’s always wanted to be an author:

“As an athlete who always wanted to find inspiration, there were books that really encouraged me along my journey. So, I hoped to be able to do the same thing one day by sharing my story and my testimony to help other people to achieve greatness. So, I’m excited to have had the opportunity to write these books.”

Sanya continues: “The quarter mile is 400 meters — it’s one full lap around the track — and the reason [the title of the upcoming book is] ‘What the Quarter Mile Taught Me about God and Life’ is because most people will say the 400 is the toughest sprint race on the track, and I would agree. So, it really challenges you mentally, physically, and spiritually to go out there every day and do the training that it takes to run the 400 and then, of course, compete in that very, very intense race. So, the 400 meter is a tough race, and life gets tough sometimes too.”

Father Dave asks: “Even back to the beginning for you … at what point did you realize that [track and field] was a passion [for you], or [even] a vocation?”

LISTEN: Olympic Gold Medalist David Boudia on Faith

Sanya responds: “I started running when I was 7. I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, where track and field is the most popular sport. So, track was always all around me … And I remember, as young as 7 years old, wanting to be an Olympian and wanting to be a track star. So, that’s kind of how I got my start. And when my family migrated to the United States when I was 12, and I would say that was when I truly started to see that it was possible that I could go to the Olympics, and that this could become a long-term thing for me.”

As they move into a discussion of the spiritual journey Sanya has had as an Olympian, Father Dave points out that St. Paul often uses the metaphor of running a race in his spiritual writings. Sanya responds: “[Track and field] taught me humility, [and] some of the toughest choices I made in my life were because of the sport … While I was participating in the sport, it taught me how to lean on God and how to trust God … We all can dedicate our lives to whatever we are passionate about, and God always has to be part of that, and that’s why my book is called ‘Chasing Grace.’ Because as much as I was chasing and I was racing and I was always trying to win gold and break records, I always realize that the greatest prize of them all — I didn’t have to chase it. God gave it to me freely, and that’s grace.” (Original Air 06-06-17)