Press Contact: Cecy Cawthorne (310) 353-6730 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DAWN HARPER - 100m Hurdles Olympic Gold Medalist - Featured in Westside Today Magazine, now available for speaking engagements.
2007 9th fastest time in the world (12.67), 1st season as a professional track athlete
2008 3rd in100m hurdles at Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon
2008 1st in 100m hurdles at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China
As a young girl, growing up in East St Louis, Illinois, Dawn Harper was drawn to athletics. You could say she had an aptitude for running, an aptitude for speed. Her earliest memories consist of racing around the block with neighborhood friends. She would always outrun them.
By the time she got to junior high, the boys wanted her on their football teams knowing her natural ability and graceful agility would guarantee them a touchdown.
Harper's penchant for running translated to organized races and a track club called, "The Railers". Her coach Nino Fennoy, who also coached Jackie Joyner Kersee, seeing her focus and fierce determination, started Harper as a sprinter in track and field competitions.
The summer, after 6th grade, she met coach Gerald Nave. He would help shape and change her life. Nave started Harper on hurdles. He recognized her great speed and natural gift, and realized if she could channel that speed and talent to the hurdles there would be no limit to what she could achieve. In the summers she continued to train with Fennoy.
As she thought about her future, Harper longed to attend UCLA; the school that launched the careers of Kersee and Gail Devers, and one of the best programs for 100 meter hurdles. But there was no way she could afford it. What Harper didn't realize at the time, was that her drive and talent was quietly making headlines. By the time she had reached her senior year, she was a 6-time Illinois High School State Champion. She was noticed by UCLA's Head Coach, Jeanette Bolden, who traveled to St. Louis to recruit Harper, giving her a full scholarship, enabling her to compete on the college level.
Once at UCLA, Harper chose psychology as her major, and eagerly began training in the 100-meter hurdles. She excelled quickly. In 2003 she was the100m hurdles US Junior National Champion and the 100m hurdles Pan-American Games Champion. It seemed only natural for Harper to be appointed as the 2006 Track and Field team captain. By graduation, she was a 7 time UCLA All-American. Since her graduation in June of 2006, Harper's been competing as a professional track athlete.
Her 2008 training season got off to a perfect start but momentum came to a devastating halt on February 29 when a little ache turned into a major problem. Harper would have to have arthroscopic knee surgery. Off track for a month and a half Harper refused to let her injury drive her spirit down or prevent her from pursuing her dream. With her strong faith she knew that with God she could achieve anything, and this enabled her to bounce back, more determined than ever.
By July of 2008, she qualified for the USA Olympic Team by placing 3rd in the 100m hurdles and made the Olympic Team by .007 seconds! In Track and Field the average age of an Olympian is 28 years old. Dawn Harper became a United States Olympian at the age of 24. She kept telling herself one day she would, "Shock the world." Each day brought her closer to her dream.
Once in Beijing, at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games the US team was one of the strongest. They were the anticipated winners, expected to sweep the competition. Harper however was the underdog. Her fellow teammate Lolo Jones was the clear favorite. As the race began, Harper remained focused. Her teammate Lolo clipped a hurdle, and stumbled, taking a disappointing seventh place. Harper surged through, victoriously becoming the gold medalist.
Harper claimed she would "shock the world," and that is exactly what she did. She took her victory lap around the track holding the USA flag, winning a gold medal for the USA track and field team. "This is a kid that nobody knew, and now she's the Olympic champion. It's breathtaking," said Coach Bob Kersee.
As a professional track athlete Harper travels all over the world. She has made appearances or competed at places such as: Zurich, Lausanne (Switzerland), Stockholm (Sweden), Paris, London, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Shanghai Beijing (China), Czech Republic, Slovakia, Zagreb (Croatia), and many places in Germany. A national list would include Los Angeles, Eugene (Oregon), Arkansas, Missouri, Boise (Idaho), New York, Iowa, Illinois and St. Louis.
Harper has plans to go for another Gold Medal in London, 2012. In the mean time looks towards winning World Championships in the years 2009 and 2011.
With her strong passion for kids she envisions being a spokeswoman, a positive role model, helping to empower children nationwide, instilling them with hope and courage letting them know that they too can reach their dreams.
Harper currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband Craig Everhart. She is trained by Coach Bobby Kersee and mentored by Jackie Joyner Kersee, a six time Olympic medalist. She is the daughter of Henry and Linda Harper and has two sisters and one brother.
For press inquiries, or opportunities regarding speaking engagements, product endorsement, modeling and/or business ventures, please contact Cecy Cawthorne via phone @ (310) 353-6730 or by email at email@example.com. View more of Dawn Harper at: http://c2cmedianow.com/Spotlight.html
Press Contact: Cecy Cawthorne 1015 Gayley Ave #197
Los Angeles, CA 90024