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Sanya Richards-Ross

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 4
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 5
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameSanya•Richards-Ross
Used nameSanya•Richards-Ross
Born26 February 1985 in Kingston (JAM)
Measurements173 cm / 62 kg
AffiliationsTexas Longhorns, Austin (USA) / Nike, Beaverton (USA)
NOC United States


Olympic champion, World champion, humanitarian, businesswoman, and reality TV star. An extraordinary leader on the American three-time Olympic gold medal (2004, 2008, 2012) and multiple World championship gold medal 4x400m winning team, Richards-Ross finally won the one Olympic medal that had been eluding her – the individual 400m – at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She was the best 400m runner in the world for a decade, world-ranked number one from 2005-2009 and again in 2012. Dominating the event for years, Richards-Ross did not lose a race over 400m between the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki and the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships. Considered one of the world’s fastest women, Richards-Ross has the most sub-50 second 400m races in the history of the event, and that stretch of wins included going under 50 seconds nine different times, and setting an American record of 48.70, ranking her number seven on the all-time world list.

A seven-time medalist at the World Championships (five of which are gold), Richards-Ross finally won the 400m World title she had been chasing her entire career, at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. She also has three relay gold medals from the newly created 2014 and 2015 World Relay Championships in the Bahamas (4x400m, distance medley relay).

Richards-Ross underwent foot surgery for hallux rigidus right after the 2012 Olympic Games, which hindered her 2013 and 2014 season. She failed to make the World Championship team in 2013 due to the toe injury and had another surgery in 2015. She competed at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, winning a silver medal as a member of the 4x400m relay team.

Jamaican-born Richards-Ross started running at age seven and by the end of her high school years, where she had an outstanding academic record, she was also named the 2002 National High School Female Athlete of the Year. In 2002 she became an American citizen and won two medals at the World Junior Championships in her native land, Kingston, Jamaica – silver in the 400m, and bronze in the 200m.

In 2010, Richards-Ross married her college sweetheart, professional football player Aaron Ross (two-time Superbowl champion with the New York Giants), whom she met while they were both student-athletes at the University of Texas. Off the track, Richards-Ross has many interests including businesses in the hair fashion industry, and even her own reality TV show called “Glam and Gold”.

Personal Best: 400 – 48.70 (2006)


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2004 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Sanya Richards
400 metres, Women (Olympic) 6
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) United States 1 Gold
2008 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Sanya Richards-Ross
400 metres, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) United States 1 Gold
2012 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Sanya Richards-Ross
200 metres, Women (Olympic) 5
400 metres, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 400 metres Relay, Women (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes