Australian sprinter Sally Pearson didn’t care how fast she ran, as long as she got that gold medal.
Moments after beating US rival Dawn Harper by just 0.02 seconds to win Olympic gold in the 100m hurdles, Pearson said she “didn’t care” that she didn’t run her fastest time. What mattered was that the gold medal was hers.
“This is absolutely incredible … I said to my coach, I want this, this has to be mine. It can’t go any other way. It has to be mine tonight,” she said. “I just really wanted that and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.”
After more than a decade of dedication, preparation and sacrifice, the 25-year-old certainly hasn’t let anyone or anything stop her from achieving her goals.
The London Olympic Games have seen Pearson reach the ultimate career high, topping her silver-medal performance at the 2008 Beijing Games, which well and truly placed her on Australia’s radar as Australia’s first hurdles medal winner since 1968.
After Beijing, Pearson saw further success, winning gold in the 100m hurdles at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. And in 2011, Pearson won the 100m hurdles at the World Challenge in Croatia and the World Championships in Korea. In 2012, Pearson finished in first place in the 2012 Diamond League in Norway and won gold at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles in Istanbul.
Adding to her mounting accolades, Pearson was also named the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year in 2011 after claiming 15 of the 16 100m hurdles titles she competed in during that year.
Pearson, formerly Sally McLellan before her marriage to high-school sweetheart and Gold Coast plumber Kieran Pearson, kicked off her dream of becoming a professional athlete at just 13 years of age after securing coach Sharon Hannan, who is still Pearson’s coach today.
Born in Sydney, Pearson is based in Queensland.