Thank you to Disney for hosting me to cover the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy!

One of the many things that is awe-inspiring at Disney Dreamers Academy is the opportunity to learn and share about the various Disney franchises, like runDisney, and how they are making an impact on the community, and showcase inspiring participants like Sanya Richards-Ross.

We learned about the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for 2024 and had the opportunity to interview Sanya about her first 5k experience for the Wine and Dine Festival!

From the 400m to 5k

If you didn’t already know about Sanya Richards-Ross, let me tell you that she holds the title of fastest American woman in the 400m track and field event with more gold medals than I can count (I know she has at least 10)! Her success is achieved through her hard work and dedication, but she also shares the appreciation of her community, from her family’s sacrifices to the runDisney community rallying her on. Growing up, I ran the 100m and on occasion the 200m, and I literally would cry if I had to do a 400m. Sorry to my coaches, but I can’t even imagine what younger me would have done if I had to do 3 miles!! I’ll be the first to tell you that there’s a big difference training most of your life for a 400m (.25 mile) event vs a 5k (3.1 miles)! But she did it amazingly!!

The support of the runDisney and fan communities really helped her push through to finish the race! In that same fashion, we want to encourage and empower our Dreamers to push boundaries, knowing they have solid support from their loved ones and community, always chEARing them on! Thank you Sanya for your time and sharing your story of how your community has uplifted and supported your dreams!

Click to view our chat on my instagram reel!

About Sanya Richards-Ross

Long-ranked the world’s best 400m runner, Sanya Richards-Ross has been a force of nature since the beginning of her sports career. She became the first American woman in 28 years, and only the 2nd in history, to be crowned Olympic Champion over 400m at the 2012 Games in London. Sanya is one of the most decorated female athletes in Track and Field history with 4 gold medals and 1 bronze, and remains the fastest American woman to ever run the 400m. Twice the IAAF Athlete of the Year, and Track & Field News’ Athlete of the Decade, Sanya’s legacy in the sport of track and field is undeniable.

After announcing her retirement in 2016 following a series of grueling surgeries and ultimately a hamstring injury, Sanya joined the NBC Track and Field broadcasting booth, as the first female in the booth for over 10 years. Sanya’s second meet as a broadcaster was the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Sanya continues to be NBC designated sprint analyst for NBC and covers track and field meets all over the world.

Over the decades on and off the track, Richards-Ross has partnered as a brand ambassador and motivational speaker with popular brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, BMW, Citibank, Liberty Mutual, BP, Fit and others. Sanya wears many hats and answers to many titles: Olympic Champion, Author, Entrepreneur, TV Personality and Wife, but her most recent title, Mother, is the one that inspired the creation of MommiNation, a virtual community and resource that supports black mothers in meaningful ways.

Sanya has also continued to take on inspiring television opportunities. In 2019, Sanya was tapped by Will Packard and Monique Chenault to become one of the first women of color to host an entertainment news magazine show called Central Ave. The weekly show covered entertainment and pop culture news through a provocative, socially conscious and diverse lens.

About runDisney

From new to experienced runners, guests have the opportunity to participate in a series of five race weekends, four at Walt Disney World Resort and one at Disneyland Resort. The races provide the unique opportunity for guests and families to run through Disney parks; earn unique Disney-themed finisher medals; experience world-famous Disney entertainment, a DJ and greet Disney characters. Race weekends also feature a health and fitness expo with guest speakers, product demonstrations and official race merchandise, some exclusively available at runDisney races.

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