By Keane Muraoka-Robertson
Track coach and Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes, who resumed training in November after a three year hiatus, has begun training for the U.S. Olympic Team. She will run trials later this June to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Earlier in Hayes’ career, she won a gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
“[Winning] the Olympics changed my life,” Hayes said. “I already had a contract with Nike, but it got bigger once I won.”
Following her record setting race at the Olympics, she encountered a series of injuries.
“After the best season and overall year of my life at the time — winning the Olympic Gold medal, setting the Olympic Record, ranking first in the world and winning USA Track and Field Classic Athlete of the Year — I went [on] to have four of the toughest seasons of my life,” Hayes said in her blog.
Hayes is currently training at two hours a day, four days a week, at UCLA.
“[The transition] has been really crazy,” Hayes said. “Before it was just me, and I just ran track and had a contract. Now I coach at Harvard-Westlake, private training sessions for athletes, personal training, and then I also have my daughter, and I train.”