Jamaican track-star, Veronica Campbell-Brown, spoke to us about competing in 5 Olympic games and the reason behind where she is today.
So Veronica, let’s start with where you are at the moment, what’s next for you on the competitive calendar?
I have resumed training and I must say; background training is, as always, rigorous. I persist as that is what it takes to achieve greatness and I am looking forward to competing in 2017.
Now that you have had time to reflect on your summer in Rio, are you at peace with how it went? Is it just a case of, that’s life sometimes?
Absolutely, I am at peace with how Rio went. I did not achieve all that I wanted. However, I am grateful for what I have achieved. I cannot change the past, so I have to find contentment in it and move forward and focus on the things that are good. No matter the situation, there is always positivity to take away from it. I am absolutely blessed to have participated in five Olympic Games. God has truly blessed my career and I know He is not finished with this chapter of my life.
Could you tell us your testimony of how you came to know God for yourself?
I grew up in a Christian home; my mom introduced me to The Lord at an early age. Attending church and being involved in church activities was a must. Through reading my bible and studying the word of God I forged a relationship with Him. As a result, I got to really understand how much He loves and cares for me and that He has ordained that I should let His light shine through me so I can impact others lives. He wants each and everyone of us to be our best self.
As an 8-time Olympic medalist you have achieved great success for Jamaica, how enjoyable are those big occasions when you have trained for so long and worked so hard?
It is a great feeling to have a successful career. For me, it shows that I have not wasted the talent God gave me. I have had schoolmates who used to outrun me but quit and therefore, never explored what God had in store for them from an athletic perspective. It was never easy for me to achieve all that I have. I give God all the praise for all my achievements. I answered His call to be an athlete and He equipped me with all I needed to be successful. He directed me in the right path and placed people in my life who love and care about me.
Does one Olympic games stand out for you as being when you were at the top of your game?
I would say my two most successful Olympic Games are Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. Overall, I am extremely grateful to have competed in five Olympics. They were unique and my challenges for all were different. For some, all went according to plan and for others weird things happened that knocked me off my course. But in all things I give God thanks.
Who would you say is the best sprinter you have ever competed against and why?
I have completed with so many talented athletes over the years that are gifted and unique. I have enjoyed the fierce competitions and I am always excited about showcasing the talent God gave me. It is hard to single out any one competitor over my career as the top sprinters all bring different faucets of excellence to the start line.
How do you use the sporting platform that God has given you to point people to him?
I have always run to give God glory. My objective is to allow the light of God to shine through me, so that others may be motivated to taste and see for themselves that the Lord is good. When I travel, I try to connect as often as I can with others Christian athletes and group mates where we pray, discuss the word of God, worship and share our testimonies.
Your Twitter bio reads ‘I love Jesus’ before you say anything else, is that so people instantly know what you are about?
“I love Jesus,” is an honest expression of how I feel about Him. I understand and appreciate that I am nothing without Him. It is in Him I live, move and have my being.
How does God feature in your pre-race time, do you have any routines that you go through?
I make God apart of my daily life through the reading and meditation on His word. The word of God gives me strength and all I need to survive. Before competition, through a short prayer, I just place my race in His hands and let His will be done.
What career do you think you would have gone into if you hadn’t made it as a pro sprinter all those years ago?
Accounting was one of my favourite subjects in high school. At one point I felt like I could have become an accountant. Upon entering college, the way I felt about accounts changed and I was now thinking differently. I like to inspire others, so maybe I would have ended up in the school system to help impact the lives of our youngsters.
What advice would you give to young Christian sprinters who aspire to be the best in the sport?
In order to do your best in anything, you have to first know who you are, be unmoved in your pursuit and know that you can do all things through Christ who give you strength and that you are created for greatness. And in order to harvest the fruit God placed in you, having consistent relationship with Him is important.