If you never once in your life believed that God can answer prayers, I’m telling you He can. And if there’s any doubt in your heart that perseverance pays, just look at my “check.”
If I’m proud of anything – and I’m bursting at the seams right now – I’m most proud that my failures and misfortunes, embarrassments and heartbreaks took place on the biggest stage in the world. Why? Because that MADE me face my demons. I HAD to take responsibility for my past defeat. I HAD to face the critics and naysayers, and I HAD to weather the storm.
I praise God right now for those cloudy days and all the tears because I know the Master was working from a script with pages I’d yet to see. And the truth is – ALL of us are. Athlete or not, no matter what troubles you might face, trust and believe there is a greater plan for you. I’m proof that God won’t put more on you than you can bear. I’m proof that faith works. I’m proof that waiting on God pays dividends. His plan didn’t say NO – it said WAIT. And I’ve waited four years for this moment. Silver is SO sweet!
I thank my teammates and coaches from the bottom of my heart for trusting me. I thank them for giving me yet another chance – because they didn’t have to. Many wouldn’t. They have been chastised and ridiculed for standing by me – for taking a gamble on me – but still saw something in me that was worth the risk. Because they chose to believe in me – because they chose to have faith in me, I can write these words. Because of them, Team USA had a chance to finally give the world of track and field fans the showdown they’d been waiting for – a 4x100m relay head to head with Jamaica – and now, after TWO American Records in TWO days (look at God), I’m leaving my last Olympic games as not just a three-time Olympian, but a two-time Olympic medalist. Saying those words out loud is so surreal.
People have asked me in the past if I knew the odds of making an Olympic team, and honestly I don’t know – because I don’t think there are any odds. It all boils down to hard work, determination, drive, focus, and family – because on paper, the odds were never really stacked in my favor. Me, an athletically gifted, sub-par student from a single parent home in Oak Cliff, Texas…Me, a guy who never knew what it meant to feel his father’s love, admiration and pride. Me, a thrice denied and internationally shamed relay sprinter. Me, a guy that endured hernia surgery two years ago, a separated collarbone less than a year ago, and devastating loss of not one, but two babies…
THOSE were my odds.
THAT is what I was up against – but this right now?
THIS is my reality!
This medal is just as much yours as it is mine. You guys have been such an unbelievable source of encouragement and positivity over the past few years. Many of you I will never meet, but your prayers and posts, emails and texts, tweets and direct messages have all helped carry me to this ridiculously happy place – and I’m so grateful that you’re able to share in this moment with me.