Saturday, August 11, 2012

Brittney Reese - Ole Miss Graduate - Wins Olympic Gold

Long jumper Brittney Reese is the most dominant American female track and field athlete since the Beijing Olympics, winning three straight world championships and back-to-back Diamond League series titles.
Reese originally majored in basketball, getting a two-year scholarship to a community college in Mississippi. She switched to Ole Miss for another couple of years, and graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in English.

Shortly afterwards, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast; and though they weren’t the worst affected, it was bad enough.

“We were living in a mobile home for two months. We didn’t have amenities, we didn’t have hot water. It was a real eye-opener. It made me more aware of a whole lot of things.

“I wanted to give something back, to the community; and I went to Beijing in 2008, planning to get a medal, and I finished fifth. I was devastated. I cried all the way back to the village. The whole Gulf coast had supported me, and I wanted to give them something back.”

Reese did find a novel way of giving something back last year. On Thanksgiving Day in 2011, she donated 100 turkeys to homeless and religious organizations in her home town of Gulfport. But now she has given them a gold medal.
She dedicated the London Olympic title to the people of Mississippi and others who are still rebuilding in the wake of the deadly and devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.