08 Apr Worth her Weight in Gold: Q&A with Olympic Medalist and TV Star Sanya Richards-Ross
She’s an Olympic gold-medalist and accomplished athlete, a successful entrepreneur, reality television star, philanthropist and superstar wife; you’d never fathom that she’s just getting started. This powerhouse track star has incessantly ventured into new and exciting projects for the past seven years and she let us know that there are much more on the way. EV had the great pleasure of sharing up close and personal with Sanya Richards-Ross and these are just some of the great things on this beauty’s plate.
BACK ON THE TRACK
Sanya is excited and back in full training mode, preparing arduously for her next major athletic endeavors. After the tedious healing process she endured to recover from injury and surgeries (between 2012 and 2013), she’s ready to get back on the horse and compete in “at least one more Olympic”. You’d never imagine she’s coming back from injury when you see her superwoman stunts on television, but this inspiring competitor is no stranger to pain and frustration. Still, the support given by her father (and manager) and the rest of her family has always served as a major drive-force. Fierce and determined, Sanya is preparing non-stop to excel in Beijing next year and then to hit Rio in 2016. She let us know that she’s feeling good and healthy; we have no doubt that we’ll see another couple of medals in the Austinite’s trophy cabinet.
Off the track, this girl is an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with, alongside her family dream team. She co-owns the Hair Clinic on Guadalupe Street in Austin, where business has been booming. Sanya and her sister are not only grateful for the loyal clients that visit the salon, but also the new fans of their amazing work, many of which have emerged since Glam & Gold became a hit on WeTV last summer. Meanwhile, this versatile (now redhead) go-getter has also dabbled in a few other business projects and is particularly excited for the re- launch of their line of hair extensions and accessories. Formerly Gemini Strands, the hair-savvy sisters will be introducing the Rich Hair Collection in 2014. With a fresh, more upscale façade, consumers in and out of Texas can grab a little piece of Glam & Gold-chic. “Our goal is to bring a new, more sophisticated brand to our clients”, Sanya added. “We are in the process of a complete overhaul.”
Additionally, Sanya has been busy with other retail beauty lines, such as the JenCare Skin Farms cosmetic collection. “It’s a brand that my mom has used (and loved!) for about 20 years, and my sister and my team have started using it as well. People are always asking us about the products we use and recommend, so we have kept the brand in our scope of business”. These women must know their beauty products because, in spite of all her running, the sweating and the constant threats to her beauty regimen, this woman’s skin is freakin’ flawless (we didn’t have to touch her face for our cover shot).
“THERE’S NOTHING MORE REWARDING THAN SHARING YOUR SUCCESS WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE THE MOST. I’M BLESSED TO HAVE MY DAD AS MY COACH AND MY MOM AS MY AGENT; THEY ARE MY MENTORS AND BIGGEST SUPPORTERS…”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR GLAM & GOLD
The Sanya Richards-Ross (RSS) brand was pushed further onto the national media spotlight with her appearance in Glam & Gold. The hit reality show was a huge career milestone that helped catapult Sanya and her team onto the mainstream scene. Millions of viewers watched as the family worked through some major issues, but it quickly became evident that the Richards clan means business. “We had a lot of fun on the show and we are anxiously waiting for the decision on Season 2”. The track star shared that, although at this time they are waiting for that green light for Glam & Gold’s second season, the whole family is on board.
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MISSION: TAKE OVER THE WORLD
Meanwhile, Sanya keeps actively growing her personal brand; we’ve seen her appear in interviews and sports event panels (no big deals, though, just small gigs like the Super Bowl). And she received one of the best birthday gifts ever: being inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame last February. She’s also planning to crossover to new horizons, including acting, engagements in the music industry and other high-profile public speaking commitments. “I want to host my own TV show or at least be part of a panel. I love public speaking and I’ve even started taking acting lessons to take this dream head-on… These are goals I’ve set for the next couple of years.”
Also, she’s launched her own mobile app, to reach fans and followers on a deeper level than throughout usual social media outlets. “I want to share with followers the keys to success and what it takes to prepare mentally and physically to be the best athlete in the world; teach them about my experience, and how to set their goals.” (You can download the app and learn all about it at srrapp.com).
About her family’s role in her many projects, Sanya expressed: “There’s nothing more rewarding than sharing your success with the people you love the most. I’m blessed to have my dad as my coach and my mom as my agent; they are my mentors and biggest supporters… I’m happy and confident that they’ll always be there.” She also takes great pride in partnering with her sister. “My sister and I compliment each other really well.”
ON MARRIED LIFE
Aside from her relatives, Sanya enjoys the unconditional love and support of her husband, New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross. “Aaron is extremely supportive of my projects and he understands the motivation and drive behind each one. He’s my best friend and he truly understands me. He’s a wonderful sounding board and I value all his input.” At the Richards-Ross household, there are no egos at battle. The couple has shared each other’s rises and downfalls. For instance, both of them were injured and have trained together to get their careers back on track, something easier said than done for any pro athlete.
On the subject of societal pressures and the challenges of balancing married life with such busy work schedules, Sanya shared: “It’s important to make your spouse a priority and to make him or her feel that way. We have lunch dates, we schedule to see each other whenever we can, and we still have our date nights.” Addressing the rising incidence of celebrity couple divorces, Sanya feels that her Christian upbringing and values will always strengthen that special bond. “Divorce is not an option, because marriage is between the three of us: Aaron, myself and God. Our devotion to each other lies in our commitment to God; every night we study the Bible together and enjoy each other’s company.”
THE WOMAN BEHIND THE SUCCESS
With such an extremely ambitious agenda and high profile media attention, one can’t help but wonder how this classy gal manages to keep a relaxed, down-to-earth attitude. Regardless of the fame and success, her loud laugh and bright smile always manage to seep through. At our heart to heart with her, it was easy to grasp that Sanya’s success rests not only in her hard work and dedication, but also in the depth of her character. We expect many great things from SRR in the near future.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2014 Issue of VETTA Magazine.