Q&A WITH… BRITTNEY REESE

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Country: United States of America

Profession: Athlete – Long Jump

Career highlights: 

  • 2016 Olympic silver medallist
  • 2012 Olympic champion
  • 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017 World champion 
  • 2010, 2012, 2016 World Indoor champion
  • 2018 World Indoor Championships silver medallist
  • 2008 Olympic finalist – 5th
  • American indoor record holder (7.23m)
  • In 2013 Brittney became the first women to win 3 straight World Championships.
  • Master of Business Administration degree from DeVry University (2019).
  • A mother to her 11-year-old son, Alex Wildee, whom she adopted in 2016. 

Where are you at your happiest? 

I feel that I am happiest at home around friends and family. I have always been big on family so being around them brings me joy. 

Of your Olympic medals and 7 World Championship wins, which moment has been the most defining and why? 

I would say my most defining medal would be my Olympic Medal. I failed to achieve what I wanted at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and worked so hard to qualify for the next Games to have another opportunity. Becoming Olympic champion in London 2012 was a testament to how hard I worked to win. 

What made you fall in love with long jump?

Simply my love of jumping! Growing up you would find me trying to dunk a basketball or jumping out of trees and off the top of buildings… so my love for jumping started as a kid and grew from there.

Take us through the moment you are standing there about to start your run up, what is the last thought that goes through your mind before you take off? 

Usually, the last thought that comes to my mind before I take off is either something my coach told me or something we had been working on that week. But I try not to think to much and just go out and perform.

You plan to retire after the Tokyo Olympics. This transition is often tough for athletes – what have you done to help prepare for this change into ‘normal life’? 

This is the hardest part for most athletes, but I plan on being a track coach. I have prepared myself by getting my Masters Degree and gaining coaching experience. I was an Assistant Track Coach for 3 years at a Community College and I absolutely loved it. 

How do you balance the demand of being a professional athlete, coach and mother?

Balancing everything is tough but very doable. Most importantly, I have been blessed to have a great support system behind me. They understand what I am going through, and this has made life much easier, allowing me to fit in training, working, competing and being a mom. 

What book should everyone read and why?   

A book I recommend everyone should read would be The Power of the Subconscious Mind. It is a life changing book and has helped me be more positive and improve myself every day. Definitely one of the best self-help books around. 

Xbox or PlayStation? 

Xbox all day!! I do have both though.

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