Profession: Athlete – Triple Jump
- 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist
- 2016 Olympian
How were you introduced to triple jump?
I was introduced to triple jump during my freshman year at John F. Kennedy High School. My friends talked me into joining the track team since I had recently stopped dancing (Ballet, tap, and jazz). One of the assistant coaches found out of my dance background and thought that I would pick up the rhythm of the triple jump quickly.
So you were a dancer before you became an athlete – what did you love about dancing?
What I loved about dancing was the intricate detail of movement. I loved being able to learn something that was inherently difficult and master it until it looked like second nature. Every new piece of choreography was an exciting challenge, every new skill was a way to better myself. I loved going into a studio for hours and coming out a better dancer than when I first arrived. I guess I just shifted the same mentality to triple jump.
You won the Dominica’s first medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, can describe what it felt like when you saw the results and realised what had just happened?
Elation is the first word to come to mind. I was so happy to finally bring home some hardware at the Commonwealth Games. I immediately started looking for a flag to raise overhead and found my teammates across the track. The crowd cheered me on the entire run time and went mad once I had the Dominican Flag in hand. My heart was pounding with excitement. It was truly a movie moment and an honor!
You recently jumped a world leading 14.52m in your season opener – please can you describe that jump for us.
Jumping 14.52 was surprising and a bit disappointing. I actually came to the meet with 14.60 in mind as my goal. I knew it was going to be a good meet and my coach and I had the mentality that I had been denied the opportunity to jump for almost a year and there was no way I was going to walk away from this meet without a new PB. My speed on competition day felt faster than ever, and my technique felt more crisp. The odd part is that the 14.52 jump didn’t feel difficult, the hard work had already been put in at practice. A far jump was just the outcome of fine tuning during the pandemic year.
You were part of the 2016 Olympic team and have qualified for Tokyo 2020. Learning from your experience in Rio, what would you do differently in your 2nd Olympic Games?
I actually put changes in place right after my 2016 Olympic Games. I wasn’t happy with my fitness or technique at the Games. I knew it was the reason behind my hamstring injury and poor performance at the Olympics. Literally within 3 weeks of the closing ceremony I spoke to my coach at the time and explained that I thought it was best to find a new coach closer to me (I would often drive 1-2 hours for coaching) in order to have a more constant and critical coaches’ eye on me. My new coach, Aaron Gadson, is a stickler for technique in running, jumping, and lifting. So, to answer your question, what I would do differently for my 2nd Olympic Games is what I have already done; become an athlete focused on the preparation of becoming the best in my field.
How would you like your success to contribute to women’s sports in Dominica?
I would like my success to contribute to a greater interest of females in track and field. This sport has taught me resilience, perseverance, but most importantly, confidence. I would also like for my actions to lead to the building of a track on the island of Dominica. This way young female athletes who do find interest in the sport can have a proper place to hone their skill.