Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross Says She Had an Abortion a Day Before Flying to the 2008 Olympics
By Alex Ungerman
Before going for the gold, Sanya Richards-Ross had to make a deeply personal choice.
The Jamaican-American runner reveals in her new memoir, Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life, that just one day before flying to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Richards-Ross won gold in the 4 × 400 meter relay, she underwent an abortion.
"The culmination of a lifetime of work was right before me," the 32-year-old athlete writes. "In that moment, it seemed like no choice at all."
"The debate of when life begins swirled through my head, and the veil of a child out of wedlock at the prime of my career seemed unbearable," Richards-Ross continues. "What would my sponsors, my family, my church, and my fans think of me?"
One area where the decision took a toll, Richards-Ross says, is with her husband, former NFL player Aaron Ross.
"Over the phone, we didn't go into details," she explains. "As if not saying it would alleviate some of the guilt and the shame."