After a very controversial call at the 2012 Olympics that involved track star Jeneba Tarmoh beating Allyson Felix, only to be told after her victory lap that she was not the victor. In fact Jeneba was told she was in a dead heat with Felix, which would've turned anyone's world upside down. Jeneba turned that negative in a different direction to not only help herself, but prevent others from experiencing such an injustice.
Jeneba would later go on to win a Gold Medal for the USA in the 4 x 100 meter race.
I had a great opportunity to speak with this happy, upbeat young lady at Southern California residence and a cool sunny day. We spoke about her 2012 Olympic experiences, her latest ventures, and will she compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
Nick Hamilton (NH): How were you introduced to Track and Field in the early years
Jeneba Tarmoh (JT): Funny thing is I was never attracted to the sport when I first started. My parents kinda forced me to do it, since they found out that I could obtain a scholarship.
NH: So they were looking at it from an economic standpoint?
JT: (laughing) yes they were.
NH: What were your thoughts when you arrived in London before competing in the Olympic games?
JT: My first thought....I can't wait to see my brother. I never met my brother ever until I arrived in London. Being in the Olympics was more than just running and representing my country, I was able to see and spend time with my brother.
NH: What did it mean to you to run and represent for the USA?
JT: It meant a great deal, I never been able to do something that big. I was just really excited! I didn't do too much traveling while I was there, but I did see the London Bridge.
NH: What went through you mind as you were making your victory lap and then were told the news that it was a tie?
JT: It was a feeling you can't really explain. I mean I went through a lot to get there [London], and once I crossed the line and took my victory lap, I felt like at that moment all of my hard work paid off. Then they wanted us to run again to see who will end up running in the Olympics. I didn't run again, because I didn't want to be in that situation. I didn't want to be apart of that drama, so I just felt I should wash my hand clean of it and walk away from it.
NH: Why was this such a controversial call?
JT: It was controversial because it was the first time it ever happened in the Olympics. My main focus was just get through the meet and run in the 200M race. So that's all I was focused on was running the 200 and trying to make the team.
NH: When you won the Gold Medal were you apprehensive to accept it based upon what happened in the previous situation?
JT: No, I'm a very optimistic thinker, so based upon the previous situation I would change anything. Like the Faith Evans song if I had to do it all again, I wouldn't take away the pain. I think everything happens for a reason, and now I'm glad.
NH: How would you prevent the situation that happened to you from happening to anyone else?
JT: I've actually joined the committee to research and find out tie breaking rules. We are coming with ways that can potentially break a tie or avoid a tie during competition. I just want that rule to be in place so if it happens again, someone will know what to do ahead of time.
NH: Will we see you compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio?
JT: Oh yes most definitely. the events I look to compete in are the 4 x100 and the 200.
NH: In the 2012 Olympics the women represented for the USA and handled their business in several events. Your thoughts on Carmelita Jeter?
JT: She's an amazing athlete, very talented.
NH: Your thoughts on Gabby Douglass?
JT: I am so very proud of her. She's an amazing, tremendous athlete, and just respect the fact that she has made history as well.
NH: What makes such a distinctive runner?
JT: I think we all are different and unique in our own ways. I'm different because, I'm no where near the average runner.
NH: For those people who want to know more about you and get in contact with you, what's the best way to reach you?
JT: On twitter it's @JenebaSylvia, and on Facebook.com/JenebaTarmoh. Also contact my publicist Tiffany Coleman email@example.com
Jeneba is a remarkable, positive young woman who knows what she wants in life. Jeneba is a definitely a role model, especially to so many young girls. When she took her victory lap after winning her Gold Medal, many people congratulated her and just told her how inspiring she was.
I can truly say that this young Nike track star is on the rise, and look out for 2016, because she is going to make a statement.
Not only to her competition, but to the world that she is a force to be reckoned with on and off the track.