*Sprinter Carmelita Jeter(pronounced “jetter”) has officially been recognized as the fastest woman in the world—and the Nike endorsed athlete hopes to capture gold when the Olympics are held in London in August 2012.
Jeter, 31, has already met the qualifying standards to run in two events at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon on June 22 and July 1, 2012, where she will run in the 100 meter and 200 meter races.
Jeter recently demonstrated her speed when she anchored the women’s 4 x 100 relay team at the 13th annual IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea, where she brought home gold in the women’s 100 meter and silver in the women’s 200 meters, automatically qualifying her for the 2012 U. S. Olympic trials.
Jeter’s 2009 personal record of 10.4 puts her second only to Florence Griffith Joyner and she has dominated the event in recent years.
As for the Olympic trials, Jeter observes, “This will be the most challenging team to make, but I’m up for the challenge. They will take the top three sprinters in each event. I’ll be competing in eight races in six days—four races in the 100 meters and four races in the 200 meters.”
Jeter has racked up an impressive number of records: She is the 2011 IAAF World Champion in the 100 meters; she won the bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics and twice brought home the gold at the World Athletics Finals.
She holds three of the top ten 100 meter times ever run and was a finalist in the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2011 Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
Asked how it feels to be touted as the “fastest woman alive,” Jeter responds:
“I always knew I was fast. I knew I just had to find the right coach—and I did in John Smith.”
Smith captured Olympic gold at the 1972 Olympics and made history when he and fellow sprinter John Carlos raised their gloved fists on the victory stand in a show of black solidarity that brought them worldwide attention.
“Mr. Smith told me to believe in myself. I feel the love and energy flowing from him when I compete so that when that gun goes off (at the starting line) there’s someone in the stands other than my family who truly believes in me.”
Jeter, who turned pro in 2007, runs in about 30 races a year. To stay in shape, she follows a rigorous training regimen.
“I train four days a week. I’m usually in the weight room for 1 ½ hours and train on the track for 2 ½ hours. I do sprints, I jog, and do long distance training. I have a separate trainer who works on my core strength and I see three physicians who make sure my body stays intact.”
As for the Olympics, Jeter said she is more than ready. “I’m really excited about London in 2012,” said Jeter. “Everybody is going to come out and bring their ‘A’ game and I’m excited about the challenge.”
Jeter recently shook hands and greeted her fans at the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is gearing up for its 16th annual Los Angeles County Race for the Cure on Saturday, March 24, 2012.
“I come from a family that has been touched by breast cancer,” said Jeter. “My aunt is a survivor of breast cancer. My grandmother passed away from cancer and I lost my cousin two years ago to breast cancer. Losing family members was devastating to me. It made me want to get involved and to become educated about the disease.”
Jeter will join thousands of other participants at Dodger Stadium on March 24 to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure run/walk event held annually to raise funds and bring awareness about breast cancer.
“Yes, I’m putting together ‘Team Jet,’” Jeter said. “I’m definitely going to be getting my friends and family members together to participate in the Race for the Cure on March 24. I hope it will show other women and athletes that it’s okay to support a great cause.”