As the dust settled on the 2017 World Championships in London, there were many stories to be told coming out of the event. One story, in particular, was that of Olympic Champion Sally Pearson who fought back against adversity and became the World Champion for the second time.
The Australian suffered a torn hamstring back in 2016 which prevented the now 30-year-old from defending her Olympic crown in Rio, and it caused her a great deal of stress.
“I was in a bad place mentally [missing Rio 2016], trying to decide whether I want to be in the sport again and whether I still loved what I did. I had to go through that phase of decision making, and ultimately I picked yes and it worked out very well for me.”
I AM THE WORLD CHAMPION!! (again)
— Sally Pearson OAM (@sallypearson) 13 August 2017
Thankfully, though, Sally is persistent and refused to let this injury derail her career – and CLICKON spoke with this defiant athlete about all things related to the track, and a few things off of it.
One thing that people may not realise about Pearson is that the hurdles weren’t necessarily her first love, with gymnastics being the sport which she gravitated towards from a young age. Through a few crossroad decisions and some help from her mother, she made the transition to the track, and she’s never looked back.
Sally’s success story is something that will be re-told for many years to come, with the champ herself admitting that she wants to serve as an inspiration to future generations of stars coming through the sports world.
“We don’t start sport to become multi-millionaires, or world famous, or be role models – we do it because we love it. If that emotion rubs off on you or other people, then that’s a bonus.”
— Sport Aus HallofFame (@SportAusHoF) 12 September 2017
But that’s not all she’s passionate about, with Pearson revealing a few of her lesser known loves to us when we got onto the topic of hobbies. From gardening to sampling food from different parts of the globe there’s a lot to uncover about this fascinating individual, and there’s an argument to be made that you won’t find a more genuine superstar out there today.
It’s clear to see that Sally is extremely appreciative and grateful for everything she’s earned, which isn’t something you see every day with athletes on her level. Aside from her accomplishments within her chosen sport, there are many other accolades that she’s been blessed with, and she considers each one to be as important as the last.
But her mind is still clearly focused on what comes next, admitting that she was able to get her head back in the game not long after her celebrations from London 2017 concluded. That kind of mentality is what makes a champion, and it helps when you’re as humble as Sally.
“Even if we don’t realise it, we have a huge responsibility to inspire the next generation. It’s a huge thing for me, I love the next generation coming through and I want to make sure our sport stays alive. If I can do anything to put this on the map in Australia, then I feel as an athlete that I’ve done my job.”
Pearson has her eyes set on the Commonwealth Games, which is just 15 minutes down the road from her next year, and beyond that Doha 2019 is fresh on her mind as she attempts to retain her World Championship. Given the form she’s in right now, it seems as if few can stop her.