Olympic Medalist Nia Ali Hurdles All Obstacles

Olympic medalist Nia Ali talks overcoming hurdles, competing on the biggest stage, and advice for young women of color

Olympic Silver Medalist, Nya Ali and son

On her way to an Olympic silver medal, Philadelphia’s own Nia Ali has jumped over many of life’s hurdles to reach the heights of her career. But growing up in Philadelphia’s gritty Germantown neighborhood built a toughness that Ali says helped her to battle through many of life’s obstacles.

Black Enterprise had the opportunity to talk with the Olympian about her challenging year leading up to the Rio Olympics, what it feels like to compete on the world’s biggest stage, and advice for young women of color.

Black Enterprise: Your road to Rio was a bumpy ride. What did you have to endure as you began your quest for an Olympic medal?

Ali: I had a baby on May 8, 2015, so I had to endure a lot of mental challenges that I wasn’t quite prepared for. To be away from my family and make the decision to go back to Los Angeles on my own with a newborn was a real struggle. Waking up every morning to take my son to daycare, go to practice, and then pick my son up to be a full-time mom again was a mental struggle at the beginning.

Throughout the year, I was dealing with chronic fatigue during a time when rest was such a crucial part of being able to train. You have to have a rested body to put forth the full amount of effort to compete at your best. But through it all, I did have a tremendous amount of support from my family so I’m grateful for that.

BE: What are the emotions and feelings you experienced when competing on the biggest athletic stage in the world?

Ali: Mainly anxiety and trying to contain my excitement. Being around good friends of mine Brianna (Rollins), and Kristi (Castlin) and being able to compete with them brought my spirits up. It is hard to be there in the best shape ever because there is tons of pressure on you from coaches and people around the world. I wanted to perform so well so I prayed a lot and surrounded myself with people who could distract me in a positive way.

BE: How do you align yourself with potential businesses and endorsement opportunities?

Ali: It has been a struggle for me because I had no idea how it was going to be. I’ve won things before. After winning my second indoor title in March of this year I returned home and everything remained pretty much the same. I did not know how big of a platform I would be on once I got back from Rio and it has been a blessing but very overwhelming at times. I talk to people who have been through it. Reaching out to certain mentors for advice on handling being pulled in different directions, and how to say no. I have been incredibly blessed with the amount of opportunities that have come my way and doors that have been opened but I am still trying to organize everything.

BE: When you think of the thousands of young women of color who watched you compete, what are three things you would like them to take away from your performance and apply to their lives?


  1. You have to be mentally strong. Especially as a young black girl going through life. I want young black girls to know that it is going to be hard and it’s set up for you to give up, but you have to be strong.
  2. Embrace the beauty of life. It is a journey and there is beauty in the struggle. I don’t want anyone to think that because things are hard or they look hard that their life is messed up or someone else has a better life than them. Everyone struggles, and goes through something, so embrace your journey.
  3. Always look to your family and friends for support. Don’t be too prideful to ask for help or to talk to people. Ask questions because you can never know enough.

19 Responses to Olympic Medalist Nia Ali Hurdles All Obstacles

  1. Pingback: web: Olympic Medalist Nia Ali Hurdles All Obstacles | nbx.press

  2. Alysa Broach says:

    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂


  3. Clement says:

    My spouse and I went over here by a different page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.


  4. dog grooming kildare says:

    I love your writing style really enjoying this site.


  5. dog groomers in tallaght says:

    Definitely, what a fantastic blog and informative posts, I will bookmark your blog.All the Best!


  6. kreatív says:

    naturally like your website however you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I’ll definitely come again again.


  7. (Prescott video marketing|Prescott AZ marketing channel} says:

    After research a couple of of the blog posts in your website now, and I really like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and will likely be checking again soon. Pls take a look at my web site as effectively and let me know what you think.


  8. get more info says:

    I found your blog web site on google and check a number of of your early posts. Proceed to maintain up the excellent operate. I just further up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. In search of ahead to studying extra from you in a while!…


  9. Deeann says:

    Hello There. I discovered your blog using msn. That is an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.


  10. la mejor agencia de prepagos en bogota says:

    Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have came upon till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain in regards to the source?


  11. Labouring Jobs Birmingham says:

    Everything is very open and very clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing.


  12. mens waist trainers says:

    hi!,I really like your writing so a lot! share we keep up a correspondence extra about your post on AOL? I need an expert on this house to resolve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to peer you.


  13. cost of dentures says:

    I believe that is among the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna commentary on few basic issues, The site style is ideal, the articles is in point of fact great : D. Just right process, cheers


  14. Windows 7 Games says:

    Good ?V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..


  15. smycz dla psa says:

    I?¦ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i am satisfied to exhibit that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot definitely will make certain to don?¦t put out of your mind this web site and give it a glance regularly.


  16. pchacz dla dziecka says:

    Its superb as your other content : D, thankyou for putting up.


  17. Mana says:

    I appreciate, cause I found just what I was looking for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye


  18. Johnb143 says:

    griseofulvin isoelectric point dddedbgakdgd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *