In life there are numerous hurdles…but if you’re a track & field athlete you have a lot more than most! Especially if you’re Sally Gunnell.
She is the only female British athlete to have won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles, and the only female 400 m hurdler in history to have won the Olympic and World titles and broken the world record. That’s all despite, her battle with injuries and relatively modest support compared to her peers. She puts her success down to mind over matter and a lot of very hard graft. Phwoar!
Sally started athletics life as a pentathlete and long jumper with the Essex Ladies’ club. In 1984, she narrowly missed Olympic selection at both heptathlon and in the 100 metres hurdles, where she set a UK junior record of 13.30 secs. Whizz forward 8 years and she is winning gold in the 400 metre hurdles at the Barcelona Olympics, which is perhaps the pinnacle of her career.
But, Sally isn’t only known for her accomplishments on the track, but also her familiar face on TV. Whenever an athlete had finished Sally soon became the person who had to awkwardly stand next to them and ask questions while they struggled to catch their breath. This was part of her duties as one of the BBC Sports Team, but it doesn’t stop there. Sally has appeared in numerous TV shows including A Question of Sport and Total Wipeout.
If that wasn’t enough she’s A Member of the Order of the British Empire. We know that sounds like something from Game Of Thrones, but it actually means she’s got an MBE. Plus, she has also written four books on fitness, health, self-fulfilment and well-being. That’s pretty impressive really ain’t it?!