Family has been a crucial component to Sanya Richard-Ross' success, whether it was her family growing up in Kingston, Jamaica or, these days, her Super Bowl champion husband.
"I remember when our parents told us, my sister and I, that we'd be moving to the United States. We were kicking and fighting. We both didn't want to move. But actually, I think it was, in hindsight, the best decision my family ever made. I remember my transition, when I moved to Florida, was seamless. I got out there, got back on the track team, was the best in our county, helped our school win its first county title and just was able to really continue developing and growing as a track and field athlete. So I was really happy that my parents made the decision at that time. And I think it was, for me, what helped me to get to where I am today.
"I would 100 percent say my confidence comes from my parents. Since I was a young child, my mom and my dad always told me I was beautiful. I was talented. I was the best. My dad a little bit too much at times, but he always just gave me that fearless courage to go out and be my best and even when I failed, I knew that my family would always love me. And so I definitely would say 100 percent my confidence is from my parents.
"My family has played a huge role in my success. From the very beginning, my dad has come to every single one of my practices since I was in high school. And I learned along the way, after sometimes working with other people, that my family always had my best interest at heart. And so I kind of keep them really close. My mom and dad are my managers. My cousin does my PR and styling. My sister does my hair. And so it's just always great to have those people closest to me. And although I do have other people that I work with and enjoy working with, it's always great to kind of have that buffer, and that support. So I'm very, very grateful to have them in my corner.
"When I was 16 would be the first time I thought I could do track professionally. I'll never forget my dad challenging me and asking me if I wanted to be the best at track and field. And it was pivotal point in my career because I realized at that moment if I wanted to be the best, it was gonna take a great level of commitment and dedication and I remember my dad, in that season, my senior year in high school, comparing my times to some of the times of professionals. And I ran faster than they did at their national championships. And I thought, well maybe in a couple of years I could definitely be doing this full time. And so I think that was the moment that I gave and dedicated myself to the sport.
"... I couldn't ask for a better family. They come to every single track meet. They're totally in tuned with what I'm doing and they always want to see me get better and better. And so they really do help me to continue to pursue my dreams.
"My husband, Aaron Ross, is a two-time Super Bowl champion and I just absolutely love being married to him. I think that we strike a perfect balance in our lives. Of course sports plays a huge role because when he's not competing, I'm competing. And we both love sports and [have] been doing it for a long time. But when we get home, we don't talk about sports much, we're just a typical married couple.
"I cook, he takes out the trash. We go to the movies and we just have a wonderful time together. And so I really do think we do a great job. We don't compete much, unless it's like running to the bathroom or something like that. But we just have a phenomenal relationship. He supports me so much and wants to see me be the best that I can be and I do the same for him. And it's just, for me, like, he's been such a great blessing."