Carmelita Jeter is the fastest woman alive—and the second fastest in history behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner—after having ran the 100m dash in just 10.64 seconds at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in 2009. And despite having won the gold, silver and bronze medals for the U.S. Team at the last Olympics in London 2012, she won't be competing this year in Rio after aggravating a left quadriceps injury. But she's at-peace with her choice.
And, here, she talks to REVOLT about how she got the best sleep of her life upon making the decision, recalls the day she got the devastating news, reveals her pre-run rituals (including the food she eats and music she listens to), details how she wants to be remembered and shares the specific barrier-breaking (and gender norm-challenging) goal she's set next.
(And, by the way, it's pronounced Jet-er, like the speedy aircraft. How apropo.)
Read excerpts and watch the interview in full below.
On her initial stubborn reaction to hearing her injury news:
Literally, a week before trials my quad starts aggravating. And you know you know your body so you know, okay, this isn't good. But everybody knows, I'll run with one leg and a toe. It doesn't matter to me! 'Line me up, tape me up' is my attitude!
On her legacy:
I didn't want to be remembered as, 'we had to pick Carmelita Jeter up off the ground.' 'Carmelita Jeter's being stretchered to the hospital.' When you give something 120-, 130-percent you can't be disappointed because you know you gave it everything, like I worked this body 'til I couldn't work it no more to make that team.
On her pre-run meals:
Oatmeal and potatoes.
And in honor of Jeter's 10.64s time, we asked her 10 questions for our (Faster Than The Speed of) Lightning Round. Watch below.