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Chatting with Tianna Bartoletta: Three-time Olympic gold medalist (Includes interview)

Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta - Markos Papadatos
Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta - Markos Papadatos

She is looking forward to the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials in Track and Field, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon, at Hayward Field. “I am excited but it also comes with a healthy dose of anxiety because so much has to go well to get to that point,” she said. “Hayward Field is such a storied place, we actually call it the Cathedral.”

On her daily motivations, she said, “I am curious by nature and almost to a fault. The question that I ask myself each day is ‘how can I be better?’ I try to perfect my form better and polish my technique. Off the track, I ask myself how can I be a better student of yoga and meditation. Ultimately, no matter what I am doing, the question is ‘how can I be better?’ and then being willing to find out the answer.”

Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta
Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta
Mario Bassani

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she won the gold medal in the women’s 4×100 meter relay race as part of Team USA, and at the 2016 Olympics, she took home two gold medals in the women’s long jump and the 4×100 meter relay race respectively. “Those gold medals felt a little different since I am in a different headspace than I am now, it was equal parts relief and validation. I am glad that all of that hard work and sacrifice paid off,” she said.

Bartoletta is drawn to the long jump due to the “flying” aspect of it. “When you are in the air, you are defying gravity for that moment,” she said. “It’s like meditation, you are experiencing nothing else.”

“It is representative of life, you need different skills at different parts depending on what you are doing,” she added.

On being an athlete in the digital age, at a time when technology and biomechanical analysis are so prevalent, she said, “I love it because a lot of what I am doing is not new, this is about personal mastery. I know what needs to be done, I know how to train and I know what the angles are. The question is ‘am I doing?’ and ‘can I feel myself doing it?’ With all the technology, I can see all that in real-time. The technology helps me get better in the mastery part.”

Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta
Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta
Orlando Riviera

This June, her highly-anticipated book Survive and Advance will be released. “This book was a labor of love,” she said. “The act of writing it down changed me. Going through that process was cathartic since I learned many lessons at the moment, in real-time while I was writing it. I am excited and also terrified to share it since it’s a really vulnerable experience but I am used to pushing through the uncomfortable to get to greatness. This book is another manifestation of that for me.”

“Honestly, I started legitimately writing this book in 2015,” she said.

Regarding the title of the current chapter of her life, Bartoletta, said, “Be Here Now.” “I am really learning how to maximize and optimize my current moment, and then take a step back and see that,” she said.

Bartoletta defined the word success as “being satisfied with her efforts.” “In most meets, I am satisfied with my effort so I can take something from that and I am successful. I truly believe that satisfaction with my effort is key to success,” she said.

For her fans and supporters, she concluded, “Thank you for being here with me. I try to tell them that on a regular basis. I want my entire team around me to know that we did this together. It’s collaboration over competition, even if your job is being competitive. Everyone around me has value and we are doing this together. You realize that none of your effort is wasted, every little thing matters, and everything counts.”

To learn more about Olympic athlete Tianna Bartoletta, check out her official website, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta
Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta
Winnie Wintermeyer

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 15,000 original articles over the past 15 years. He is a consecutive five-time "Best of Long Island" winner that has won such categories as "Best Author," "Best Blogger," "Best Poet," "Best Twitter Account" and the coveted "Best Long Island Personality" twice.

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