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Of suicidal thoughts to Olympic dreams: looking for gold, Tara Davis found peace
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  • 30/07/2022
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Of suicidal thoughts to Olympic dreams: looking for gold, Tara Davis found peace

One and ready.This is how Tara Davis sneaked into the length Olympic finals, which will be this Tuesday.

He only needed a jump in the qualifying round of Sunday to meet the standard for the final and compete for the opportunity of a gold medal.The rest of the session, it was having fun.

Davis consulted with his father, Ty, who is also his coach and was sitting in the second row of the Olympic stadium.Then he attacked a television camera;He joked with other competitors, observed the weight launch and 400 meter competitions, and borrowed a pen to an officer to record the metric marks on the track and then turn them into feet and inches.

Finally, he asked permission to retire, and he was granted."I didn't want to be out for too long," he said."It's quite hot".

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When Davis, 22, returns to the stadium, on Tuesday, will have a heavier workload.His American teammate Brittney Reese, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist;Malaika Mihambo, from Germany, and Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, of Ukraine, are among the contestants.But Davis's formidable talent could take her to a medal, possibly gold.

His first Olympic experience is the culmination of a search that started when he was four years old and focused clearly during a record career in the Ause High High School.Although his university stage derailed for several years due to a bad choice of coach, injuries, a family situation, the Covid-19 pandemic and mental health disorders-including suicidal thoughts-Davis found stability and happiness, and once againHe took flight.

In June, he finished second in the United States Olympic tests with a brand of 23 feet and 1¼ inches.

In addition, it does not need an Olympic victory to build a personal brand;It already has a large number of followers on social networks.More than 280.000 Subscribers to a YouTube channel with content produced with her boyfriend, Hunter Woodhall, a winning corridor of Paralympic medals that will also compete in Japan this month.Davis recently announced that she and her partner have a sponsorship agreement with a sportswear company.

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Davis's international profile, however, could grow exponentially if he wins gold.And we must not be fooled by his bubbly personality, according to Woodhall."She is a true athlete," he said."Compete with the soul".

Davis, the youngest of five children, has been on his way to Olympic stardom from childhood.When he saw that his brothers participated in an athletics club that his father founded in Wylie, Texas, wanted to join.

His mother, Ryshon, commented that his youngest daughter loved to win councils, especially if they were pink, until he learned that pink occupied fifth place, not the first."From that moment on," said his mother, "he never liked the pink slats".

When Davis was 11 years old, Ty got a job in California and the family moved to Calabasas."We loaded the truck," said his mother, laughing, "and we moved to Beverly".

Initially, Davis fought in youth competitions against talented and highly trained California girls.She told her parents that she planned to leave the sport.But after finding a patient fence coach, it improved.

"There really began to win and grow," said his father.“He said: 'Do you know what?I'm doing very well.Let's continue with this track thing ’”.

At exract high, he won state titles in the 100 meters, long jump and triple jump.

During a track encounter in Idaho, he met Woodhall.Utaah's native was born with fibular hemimelia, a congenital defect that demanded the amputation of the legs below the knee at 11 months of age.However, that did not prevent him from becoming a scholarship athlete at the University of Arkansas.

After seeing Woodhall competing in a 400 -meter race, Davis gave him a hug."I don't know why I did it, I just had to give it a hug," he said last month, "and everything started from there".

"After 400 meters, you're a little delusional anyway, so I thought‘ I don't know what is happening here, but I'm not angry at this hug, "he said.

It was a friendship that began with text messages and social networks, and then flourished."She is a kind of rock for me," said Woodhall."I don't think neither would really be at the same level without the other," Davis added.

After high school, Davis accepted a scholarship for Georgia.But soon he felt nostalgia and was irritated with a training style that differed from a softer approach used by his father and youth coach.In addition, he said, he suffered back injuries but told him that they were muscle spasms.He also had emotional challenges for the divorce of his parents.

Then he moved to Texas, but he never imagined that he would not compete for almost two years.

Georgia prevented him from competing immediately and the tests revealed fractured vertebrae that needed a break, said Davis.Six days before he was finally ready to compete, he suffered an ankle fracture.He participated in the Big 12 conference roof championship, but the outdoor season was canceled due to COVID-19.

"During the pandemic, I had time to really think about what I wanted and where I wanted to be in life," he said.“This was the first time that nobody told me what to do;in which I didn't have a track ".

Davis, however, was also depressed;He experienced anxiety and panic attacks."When depression worsened a lot, when suicidal thoughts began to emerge," he said, "I thought," I should probably seek professional help. ".

With the help of the therapy, the support of his family, Woodhall and his pets, Davis's mental health improved.He has shared part of his experiences in social networks."I'm glad to have gone through that experience just because he formed me as a new person," he said."I think that's what attracts people, how open I am about mental health.".

Davis's joy is expected to compete to evidence on Tuesday.Although there will be no spectators, that will not prevent the young woman from acting as if the stands were full.It will be optimistic;I could dance or sing."People underestimate her because she is a fun and cheerful girl on the track," said Woodhall."But it's not someone you want to get into".

Or, as her father said, "when it is up to her to leave, the thing changes".

Davis's mother plans to see her from Orlando, Florida, where the families of US athletes were invited to move, with the expenses paid.

Weeks ago, he sent a text message to remind his daughter that the stadium may be empty, but "your fans are in your head and applaud as if they were in the stands".He told him to keep him, so he could read it before the competition.

Davis was animated on Sunday, before and after his qualifying leap.Later, he said that the difficult thing was to reach the Olympic Games, and then to the final."Now it's time to have fun," he said."You know, go out and do everything you can.I'm in the Olympic final.How?!".

You can communicate with the National Direct Line for Suicide Prevention 24 hours a day, at 1-800-273-8255.

Para leer esta nota en inglés, haga clic aquí.

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