Athlete Spotlight: Lashinda Demus
Just five years after giving to birth to twin boys, U.S. hurdling star Lashinda Demus enters the 2012 Olympic year with an American record and a world title in the 400 hurdles. She is a three-time national champion and a two-time world gold medalist, once in the 400 hurdles (2011) and once on the 4×400 relay team (2009). She also won a world championship as a junior in 2002 and an NCAA outdoor championship the same year while competing for the University of South Carolina.
Demus made her Olympic debut at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games at age 21, but did not make the finals. Her pregnancy with twin boys halted her training in 2007, but Demus still came close to making the U.S. Olympic Team in 2008. She finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials. By the next year, 2009, she won gold and silver medals at the worlds, beginning a three-year stretch during which she was No. 2 in 2009 and then No. 1 in 2010 and 2011 in the 400 hurdles. Training with her mother, Yolanda Rich, Demus will enter the London 2012 Olympic Games as the world’s fastest female hurdler.
Bet you didn’t know this: Demus, who gave birth to twin boys in June 2007, comes from a family that has a history of twins. Her grandfather was one of 20 children in a family that had four sets of twins.
Claim to fame: Demus won the 400-meter hurdles at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, with an American-record time of 52.47 seconds. Her winning time was just 13-hundredths of a second from the world record, and it was the third-fastest time in the world.
Age at Opening Ceremony: 29
Sport: Track and field
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