How Did Dawn Harper Make History at the 2012 Olympics, Take On Motherhood, and Still Have Energy to Return for 2020?

The Recap

Sam welcomes to the podcast two-time Olympic medalist and decorated track and field hurdler, Dawn Harper. Dawn took home the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, making history as a hurdler in the process. In this episode, Dawn recalls her journey to the 2008 Olympics, including stories of her inspiring coach, overcoming a knee injury, and the moment she realized she took home gold. Dawn speaks to her decision to step away from track and field (for now) to start a family and become a mother. She talks about her daughter, Harper, and her husband, Alonzo who has supported her career through all the ups and downs. Finally, Dawn touches on her decision to train and compete to represent the U.S. yet again in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Episode Highlights

01:20 – Introducing today’s guest, Dawn Harper

01:59 – Sam takes a moment to thank her sponsors, Tumbl Trak & Right Rice

02:24 – Sam and Dawn share their first memories of each other

04:54 – The moment Dawn knew she wanted to go to the Olympics

08:48 – Dawn describes the feeling of being told by her coach that she was a different, special athlete

11:01 – Dawn talks about her belief in her abilities and her thoughts on fear

15:30 – Falling in love with track and field

15:59 – Dawn recalls the collegiate recruitment process and why she chose UCLA

22:47 – The decision to continue running as a professional

26:09 – Sam and Dawn discuss the hard work necessary to become an Olympian

33:48 – Dawn talks about having to get knee surgery

38:36 – Dawn’s mindset after qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing

41:21 – How Dawn deals with pre-race nerves

42:33 – Dawn walks listeners through her mental warmup routine

44:32 – Dawn recalls the moment she realized she had won gold and how she celebrated

46:42 – Sam takes a moment to thank her sponsors, Tumbl Trak & Right Rice once more

47:16 – Dawn’s plans post-2008 Olympics

48:12 – Differences between the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games

53:14 – Dawn speaks to the competitive fire between her and her teammates

55:52 – What motivated Dawn after making history at the 2012 Olympic Games

57:56 – A new dream for Dawn

59:30 – The decision to train to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games

1:03:20 – How life changed for Dawn when she became a mother

1:04:30 – Dawn’s goals for 2020

1:06:54 – How Dawn’s confidence level fluctuated throughout the course of her career

1:10:57 – Sam and Dawn discuss common issues facing female athletes today

1:13:02 – The post-Olympic come down

1:14:10 – Dawn reveals one thing people can do to get 1% better each day

1:15:54 – Sam thanks Dawn for joining the show

Tweetable Quotes

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