Sanya Richards-Ross Goes for the Gold in Her Career, Business and Personal Life

How the Olympic medalist balances her life and her ambitions

You and your husband, New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross, both have extreme careers, and you also co-own a hair salon in Austin, Texas. Do you, along with so many, struggle with trying to achieve work/life balance?

You know we don’t. It’s amazing how everything just works out so well for us. His football season usually starts in September, and my track season usually ends around the same time, so I’m able to be with him full-time in New York, supporting him and going to the majority of his games.  I also usually start my early season training in New York. When his season ends, he comes to Texas. So right now we’re together in Texas while I’m doing my training, and he’s off. He cooks and supports me, just like I do for him when I’m off.  With the business, because it’s a family business, I don’t always have to go in for the business to work. I co-own the shop with my sister, the store manager, and my mother, so it’s not a distraction in any way. It’s something fun that I do with my sister. So I think my husband and I have a great balance to our relationship and it works. When we’re apart, we miss each other, and it’s just great to be together again. It’s actually a positive for us.

What philanthropic activities are you involved in? (The Sanya Richards Fast Track Program)

What’s very dear to my heart is an after-school program that I started in Jamaica where I’m from called the Sanya Richards Fast Track Program. I’ve always been proud that our education was superior to most countries, but I was surprised to hear a couple of years ago that it wasn’t on that same level, and that a lot of the kids weren’t reading on their grade level and that illiteracy had gone way up. So four years ago, we started this program in one school. Today, we’re in 10 schools, and the board of education in Jamaica has said that they believe our program is actually helping kids. Every time I go down there, I meet another 30 or 40 group of kids that are being impacted by the program. It’s really special to me. My main project right now is growing this program, and possibly bringing it to the United States.  I also partner with an organization called Fun for Kids which is out of Miami, and we came together and made the program work in Jamaica.

You’ve always been intentional when it comes to your life goals. So what can we expect to see you doing in the future?

I want to run for sure in the 2012 Olympics. I’m not sure about 2016 just yet because I want to start a family with my husband sometime after the next Olympics. It kind of all depends on if I can get back into training and still be one of the best in the world, then I may run in 2016. If not, I hope to have written a book or two. I really love fashion so I may start my own sporty clothing line. I’m very ambitious; I always have a lot of goals, but track and field is my primary goal now, and I’m going to try and express myself from there depending on where the future takes me.

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