The Olympic track and field World Champion has the life and family many of us dream of. Not only did she win the Olympic title in the 400-meter dash, but she’s been happily married to her husband—two-time SuperBowl champ—Aaron Ross for 10 years!
Richards-Ross is set to dispel myths about Black families and athletes as she shares her love for the people in her life with America in a new reality series, Sanya’s Glam & Gold airing every Thursday on WeTV. “I want people to look inside their family, grow together, and build whatever they’re trying to build with their family.”
Ross truly embodies boss status. Flip the page and find out why.
Photo Credit: yafav1neatheart.wordpress.com
VIBEVixen: How does it feel to have your life displayed on TV?
Sanya Richards Ross: I always thought we had a family made for TV. Everyone has an amazing dynamic personality and to see it all come into fruition is like a dream come true for me. But there is also moments where I’m like ‘that’s what they’re talking about’ and I can definitely be better. Being an athlete and having that type of mentality, I always want to do better, so this has been inspirational for me and it’s been a great teacher for me in areas that I want to grow.
Which areas in your life would you like to improve?
My patience. I don’t have a lot of patience. When there is something I am very passionate about and I expressed the importance of it being done, I get impatient when it’s not done. That’s an area I want to work on, being overall more patience.
What do you want your audience to learn from watching you and your family?
I want my audience to be inspired. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and unfortunately they’re not a lot of strong family units [you hear about]. You constantly hear about single moms and divorces so I want people to be encouraged that true love does exist. I want people to look inside their family and to grow together and build whatever they’re trying to build.
How do you handle working with your family?
I always say the good days outweigh the bad days but I’m not going to deny that there are rough patches working with family because sometimes it’s hard to differentiate the roles. Sometimes my cousin Yollie and I are somewhere and we fall into cousin mode and it’s still a working dynamic and I have to say “hey we’re not watching TV, I expect you to do X,Y,and Z.’ My mom is my manager and sometimes I feel that she falls into mom role and I have to remind her to respond to that email or change my flight—stuff like that. I think the hardest part is being in close quarters. At the end of the day I have a lot of patients with them as my employee but it gets hard having to go into that tough role.
How is your relationship with your dad? We’ve noticed that you guys are very close but he doesn’t talk too much in the show.
You’ll see him open up more; especially on the final show. My dad and I have a great relationship as I do with everyone. But we do have our moments where it gets challenging. He’s a real Jamaican dad and he has very strict ideals. He always wants me to be this runner and everything is focused on my training, eating, resting, and as I grow and want to be more than just a runner, sometimes he gets disappointed that I’m out in NY doing something else. That’s the hardest part for us; he doesn’t want to let go of my being the runner all the time.
Who’s the hardest person to work with?
My sister is the hardest one to work with. We’re business partners but she’s the hardest to work with because it’s a different dynamic. The rest of my family is on payroll; we have an understanding of what their roles are for the most part. But my sister and I couldn’t get on the same page in regards to our expectations of each other. She always wanted to own a salon and in my mind I saw us working together but she had different ideas of how it would run.
Photo Credit: blog.zap2it.com
We’re going to see a lot of you and your husband going through a situation where he’s been put on the back burner—is this the first time you guys had to deal with this?
This isn’t the first time that we dealt with it. But when you’re filming a show as well there becomes less time and more strain on everybody. I would say this was the hardest one we’ve gone through because I really was being pulled in a lot of directions. This is one of my favorite episodes because you see what the whole picture of what my life is like. My faith is my #1 priority and my husband is my second and my family and business are right below that and you really get to see that. I think so many women can relate to this, especially the modern woman who wants to have a business and a marriage, you see how difficult that can be at times. You have to step back and say even though I want to do all this I still want to be the best wife I can be. It’s very dramatic and real.
How do you guys keep the love alive?
In any relationship, when you put that person first and allow them to be all that they can be [it makes them happy]. A lot of times you hear in a relationship, “I feel like I lost myself, I wanted to do this and I didn’t do it because of my marriage” that’s what puts strain on a relationship. What works for Ross and I is he lets me spread my wings, he supports me 100%, and he’s very secure in his manhood and in our marriage and our love. Nothing makes him feel insecure which I love. I do the same for him; I come to all of his games and I’m here doing his cooking and being his wifey when I’m off and those things keep our relationship fresh. I’m really blessed.
I know the baby talk has been brought up a bit, how is that going?
You’re the first person I’ve talked to since my cousin Yolande had her baby. Yollie had her baby on Friday and I’m having major baby fever now. It was just a wonderful experience to be in the room with her and see her give birth, but I’m still holding off a little bit. I still want to go to one more Olympic, that’s my goal. I know I can have a baby and bounce back but I don’t want to be running around. I want to give all my energy to my child and I want my husband and I to be settled. Right now he has a one-year deal with New York and next year he could be somewhere else so I don’t know if that’ll be the perfect environment for a child so I want to wait a little bit longer. Finish off some of my goals and then focus my full attention on my child.
You’re very confidant in what you want to do and where you want to be—how do you stay motivated?
Our dreams and desires come from God. I have big dreams for my life and my family; I can’t sleep and stop because I’m constantly trying to figure out how can I accomplish this next goal. My dad is such a big inspiration in my life. He was a great soccer player and because of his experiences I became an Olympic champion. My greatest motivation is keep a great legacy for my children. I want them to dream bigger than I did because I laid a great foundation for them. One day I can retire and be proud of all I did and accomplished.
Do you look up to any celebrities?
I love Oprah. I love her story, where she started and where she was able to go. She’s a great representation for African American women. I love Michelle Obama, she embodies everything I want to be—a great wife and just a great all around person. I love Beyoncé, I don’t know her but every time I see her perform I’m so excited by her dedication to her craft. Maya Angelou has always been a hero of mine.
Do you have any advice for woman trying to be at the top of a male-dominated field?
Know your craft very well. Unfortunately women expect more from us than men. If you want to be on top of your game, know your craft and know you’re skill, be very confident. It’s important that we are aware of the power we have, and to continue to be the example for other women coming behind us.
What are your thoughts on David Oliver, he just ran the fastest time this year in the 110 meter hurdle race.
David Oliver’s a great guy. In 2011 he had a great season but he got injured in 2012 so for him to be able to come back and win this title [is great]!
How’s your relationship with Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce?
Shelly Ann is one of my favorite Jamaican sprinters. Not only is she phenomenally talented but also she’s very humble and I just love that. She’s an Olympic and world champion. She’s one of the most decorated sprinters of our generation. She’s a great girl and I’m really happy for her. I wish I could be there myself this year, but I’ll be back.
Are you fully recovered?
I’m going to have surgery [again] next week on my big toe. I ended up with a stress fracture after trying to run on it. So the doctors want to go in and do something else to try and alleviate some of the pressure. I’m prayerful it’ll work and I’ll be back. I’ll have one more surgery and God willing I’ll have two months of recovery.
How did you get into fashion?
As a female athlete that plays for a long time, I guess they expect you to be a tomboy and it’s not cool to be too girly. I remember in college, I was like “why can’t I do my hair, everybody out here looks dead” so I just started to wear more make up. People started to compliment me. People want to embrace their womanhood and feel pretty, so I wanted young girls to know you can do both. After college I got more into fashion and beauty and I love it.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
Besides Louis [Vuitton] and Gucci, Chanel is one of my favorites. I wore [Chanel] earrings it in the Olympics. But I love BCBG, Rebecca Minkoff, TopShop, and I shop a lot in Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
Are there any fashion trends you wish would go away?
One thing I never got into was overalls, that can go. Anything else I’ll try but not overalls [laughs].
Can we expect a clothing line from you soon?
That would be everything. I think people think I’ll come out with a sports line but that’s not what I want to do. I want to do something fashionable and trendy. We’ll see what happens because that would be amazing.
Photo Credit: cnn.com