Track & Field

The JTG Finish Line: With Sharika Nelvis

Sharika Nelvis is the fastest 100m hurdler in the world this season after clocking 12.34 seconds which ranks her 7th fastest of all-time. She also finished the indoor season as world number 1 with 7.83 seconds for the 60m hurdles.

Having a real breakthrough season she sits joint top of the Diamond League race for her event. We caught up with the American hurdles superstar as she prepares for the upcoming World Championships in Beijing.


The best thing about being an athlete is…

The best thing about being an athlete is the fact that I’m in the position to help people who come from where I come from, and have similar backgrounds as me to realize that anything is possible through faith, hard work, and dedication. Throughout my life I’ve noticed the more successful I became the bigger my influence. I want to take on that responsibility by accepting the challenge of being a great leader, role model, and professional for anyone that follows me or looks up to me. I also love the travel. I come from Memphis and I never dreamed of seeing the places that I’ve seen this past year. I want to share these types of experiences with whoever follows me and my career.

I realized I wanted to be an athlete when…

Growing up as a kid I was always very competitive. I loved doing the things the guys did. I played football, basketball, and I raced against whomever. In elementary school we would have field days and we used to have to big races including everyone who thought that they were fast. The teachers would do the countdown, and no matter what, I always won. I knew then that I loved that feeling, and that’s what I wanted to do when the opportunity presented itself. I played lots of sports, but I fell in love with running during my elementary school years.

Nelvis on her way to victory at the Rome Diamond League

Nelvis on her way to victory at the Rome Diamond League

My best friend in track & field is…

I currently don’t have any track & field best friends, but throughout this year I’ve built some very close friendships and bonds with many track & field athletes. I have best friends outside of track & field, but Christina Manning who also runs the 100 meter hurdles has been with me through and through this past year, and I really appreciate the bond we have made.

In my free time I like to…

In my free time I really like to relax in my home and tune the world out to refocus my mind. I love my “me’ time where I can just be one with myself and God, and give thanks for the many blessings he has given me and continues to give me. I play video games, read, and occasionally cook.

If I wasn’t an athlete I would be…

I would be a model and create my own photo studio. My major in college was photo journalism, and I love taking pictures whether I am in front of the camera or behind it. I love finding the irony in pictures. I believe that in every picture there are a thousand stories. The art behind photos really amaze me.

When I stand behind my starting blocks before a race I’m thinking…

It’s me against the clock. I don’t see, feel, or hear anyone outside of my lane. I’m going to run my race and have fun while I’m doing it. I spell fun W I N lol…

My dream goal in track & field is…

I want to be inspiration to the world on and off the track, and become the greatest 100 meter hurdler of all time.

One change I would make to the sport is…

I want people to be more aware of track & field. As soon as people hear about track & field their first thought is always the Olympics. I want people to know that our sport is 365 day grind of triumphs and failures. I want ESPN and other networks to show and display the many talents of athletes from around the world on a broader scale. Track & Field is the most watched sport during the Olympics in America, but as soon as it ends it seems the sport fades to black. I would really love to see more track & field events on big networks in America.

My dream training partner would be…

Christina Manning (she is)

The best piece of coaching advice I have ever received is…

I have to have a short term memory, and remain balanced. Never get too high or too low, no matter the outcome find middle ground.


You can follow Sharika Nelvis’ journey towards Beijing and beyond on her twitter here.

Barr behind the wheel. Image via youtube
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Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell is an athlete, physical therapist, and MSc student. He is current national 110m hurdles champion and ranks 3rd & 5th on the Irish all-time list for the sprint hurdles events. He is occasionally referred to as GOD, not due to his initials, but because of his heavenly beard, which he has sported since the age of 5.

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