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Track Star Writes Memoir - Admits She Had An Abortion Before 2008 Olympics

One athlete wanted to be an Olympic champion since she was nine years old, but just before she was slated to go for the gold she found out she was pregnant. The pregnancy, which was unwanted and unplanned, resulted in her making a choice that she says still haunts her today: she had an abortion. She's written a new book about her experience, and the toll that it took on her.

Sanya Richards-Ross released a new autobiography, "Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life." In the book, she details the difficult choice she made to have an abortion so that she could chase her dreams, and how hard it's been to live with that choice.

The track star was a favorite to win in Beijing in 2008, but just one day before she got on the plane she had an abortion, she writes. She was then engaged to her now-husband, and with her intense training, she never thought that she could get pregnant.

“Everything I ever wanted seemed to be within reach,” she wrote. “The culmination of a lifetime of work was right before me. In that moment, it seemed like no choice at all. The debate of when life begins swirled through my head, and the veil of a child out of wedlock at the prime of my career seemed unbearable. What would my sponsors, my family, my church, and my fans think of me?”

Richards-Ross wasn't supposed to exercise for two weeks after the procedure, but she went on to compete in the Olympics anyway. But the abortion had taken its toll. She couldn't sleep, tormented by her choice. She started cramping during the 400-meter race, causing her to finish third. She told people about not getting enough sleep and cramping, but she didn't share the entire story.

She did go on to win the 4x400 relay with her teammates, but after the games were over she had to live with the aftermath of her decision. "Abortion would now forever be a part of my life. A scarlet letter I never thought I’d wear. I was a champion — and not just an ordinary one, but a world-class, record-breaking champion. From the heights of that reality I fell into a depth of despair,” she wrote in her book.

She said despite this being a tough time for her, it's when she felt 'close to God's grace the most'.

A year later, Richards-Ross went on to win the 400 world championship. She's a five-time Olympic medalist, and she's now pregnant and looking forward to being a mother.

Richards-Ross doesn't entirely regret having an abortion; she regrets that she was put in the position to make the choice, that she had to experience such a traumatic procedure. And the now-pregnant woman admits that it's hard to heal from that choice. She hopes by sharing her experience that she can help other young women heal after making the same choice.

Source: Yahoo
Photo: YouTube

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