CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – An Olympic gold medalist is reflecting on her long journey from the Lowcountry to the podium in Tokyo. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn says she was never sure she would ever compete again for the Olympics after a heart-breaking loss in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Fort Dorchester High School graduate Camacho-Quinn brought home a gold medal from this year’s Tokyo Olympics. She says she is now reflecting back on her journey on getting to that point after she set Olympic world records.
“You can’t really explain that, only one person can get a gold medal. There was actually two this year and one event, but that experience was amazing,” Jasmine says.
She competed in the Women’s 100-meter hurdles as she represented her mother’s home country of Puerto Rico, completing her record run in 12.26 seconds.
“It’s really a proud thing. I wasn’t going out there without a fight and it means a lot to represent half of me,” she says.
Jasmine says there were points where she wanted to give up. Hitting a hard point after clipping a hurdle in the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio, a setback that made her question whether she would ever train again -to make it back to the games.
“Mentally I was out of it. I was trying to deal with what happened, but I had to come back to school right after and start back up. My body was tired and mentally I was tired too,” she says.
She says she had a change of hear when setting a personal record for herself in her junior year of college. She let go of her fear that led her want to come back even stronger, to compete again.
“You start doubting yourself and you don’t want to do it anymore. I went through that feeling again, but I picked myself up and kept it pushing,” Jasmine says.
Looking back on her journey, Jasmine says she now wants to send a message to young girls and athletes that they can work hard to achieve their goals.
“There’s always going to be people around that’s going to try to bring you down and try to distract you. You just have to really stay focused on what you want to do and I think anything is possible,” she says.
Jasmine says she is training and looking forward to the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in July 2022. She plans to compete and hopefully break another record.