AP: Reese Dedicates Gold To Family And Friends

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Reese offers a smile during long jump final (Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Reese offers a smile during long jump final (Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Aug. 9, 2012

Photo Gallery

LONDON (AP) — After leaving the most important decision of her career up to her persuasive mother, Brittney Reese knew there was only one place to start looking when it was time to celebrate her Olympic gold medal in the long jump.

Reese claimed one of the three gold medals the U.S. track and field team won Wednesday night at the London Games, becoming the first American woman to win the Olympic long jump title since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988.

“It’s a surreal moment,” she said. “I got very emotional — you do when you’re representing your country.

“My mom and aunt are here, so this is a great moment for me and my family.”

Within the space of a half hour at the packed, 80,000-seat Olympic stadium, Allyson Felix finally won the 200-meter title that had eluded her at Athens and Beijing, Aries Merritt won the 110-meter hurdles gold medal and Reese won the long jump.

The two-time world champion went into the competition with the best jump of the season and put down the best mark in the final with 7.12 meters (23 feet, 4 1/2 inches) on her second attempt. Russia’s Elena Sokolova took the silver medal at 7.07 meters (23-2 1/2) and Janay Deloach earned the bronze for the United States at 6.89 meters (22-7 1/4).

It was a major achievement for Reese, who could easily have been lost to track and field. She was considering offers for basketball scholarships when her mother, Carla Young, made a fateful decision for her: Stick with track and field, at the University of Mississippi.

“My mom fell in love with Ole Miss and they were still in contact with me while I was in my community college,” Reese said. “I sat down with her and she told me track is what I needed to do — and Mamma knows best, so that’s what i did.”

Now that she’s the reigning Olympic and world champion indoors and out — and is third all-time in the U.S. behind Joyner-Kersee and Marion Jones in terms of longest jumps — she could be excused for thinking about another career change.

But that’s not likely before the 2016 Games in Rio.

“I feel like this is just the beginning,” the 25-year-old Reese said. “I am going to train four more years and come back and hopefully defend my title.”

She dedicated the London Olympic title to the people of Mississippi and others who are still rebuilding in the wake of the deadly and devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

She does what she can — during the 2011 Thanksgiving season, Reese purchased 100 turkeys to be given away to help the homeless near her hometown of Gulfport, Miss — but the gold medal is special.

Reese lived through the disaster that damaged her house, but was conscious that she got off lightly and wanted to do something significant at the Beijing Olympics four years ago to give her friends and neighbors a boost.

“In ‘08 my goal was to come out there and get a medal. And when I placed fifth, I was devastated and cried the whole way back to the (athletes) village,” she said. “I had the whole Gulf coast behind me. I got a lot of emails, a lot of Facebook and Twitter about my Gulf coast family representing me, being there for me, and I wanted to come out here and do that for them.”

Reese and her family had to sandbag their home to avoid flood inundation during the disaster, but the ceiling of the house collapsed and forced them out.

“We were out of the house for like two months because we had mold and we were living out of mobile homes and trailers,” she said. “It was a tough time and (makes) you realize how blessed you are to have necessities.

“It was a real true eye-opener and my city is now rebuilt and we have most of the stuff back. But we don’t have a lot of the homes back. This was a great way for me to bring something home to them to show that we can all do this together.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Snow Day 2015

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more

    • VIDEO: The Flagship Football Promo

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • Rebels Ready for Rematch with Georgia

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more

    • VIDEO: The Pavilion Time Lapse

      Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      read more

    • Golson, Prewitt Compete at NFL Combine

      Monday, February 23, 2015 - Football

      The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 17-23, 2015)

      Monday, February 23, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with a 71-65 win at Mississippi State and a 59-57 victory over Tennessee. The Rebels improved to 10-4 in the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Feb. 22

      Sunday, February 22, 2015 - Athletics

      Despite winter weather that affected many teams, it was a busy week for Ole Miss athletics. The men's basketball completed a 2-0 week and has positioned itself well entering the last two weeks of the regular season. The baseball, women's... read more

    • Bramlett Impresses in First Two Starts Back

      Sunday, February 22, 2015 - Baseball

      After missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to recovery from a torn labrum, sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been brilliant in his first two outings back in 2015, fanning 19 batters through 12.0... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Locker Room by Lids

      Saturday, February 21, 2015 - Athletics

      read more

    • Rebels Look to Complete Thursday-Saturday Sweep

      Saturday, February 21, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      For the second time in as many weeks, Ole Miss embarks on a Thursday-Saturday swing, returning home to host Tennessee on Saturday after a 71-65 win on Thursday at Mississippi State. During the previous week, Ole Miss was on the... read more

    • Moody's Career Night Lifts Ole Miss Past MSU

      Thursday, February 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The game hung in the balance.  Mississippi State had just regained a 54-52 lead with 6:25 left, taking advantage of a 6-0 run. Head coach Andy Kennedy challenged his team, and junior guard Stefan Moody answered the... read more

    • Rundown of Ole Miss Future Football Schedules

      Thursday, February 19, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss and Cal will play a home-and-home football series in 2017 and 2019, the schools and ESPN announced Thursday. It marks the Rebels' first matchup with a Pac-12 school in football and will be only the program's second visit... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 10-16, 2015)

      Monday, February 16, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 10-16, 2015Men's Basketball- Ole Miss saw its six-game winning streak snapped with a one-point loss to No. 23 Arkansas Saturday night. Junior guard Stefan Moody and senior forward M.J. Rhett each scored 16 points... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Feb. 15

      Sunday, February 15, 2015 - Athletics

      The men's basketball team marches on toward March, the baseball team opened the 2015 season with a series win over William & Mary and the softball team prepares for its home opener under first-year head coach Mike Smith. The winter... read more

    • Rebels, Razorbacks Set for Marquee Matchup

      Saturday, February 14, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Riding a six-game winning streak, Ole Miss hosts No. 24 Arkansas in a battle for sole possession of second place in the SEC standings. The Rebels are looking for its fourth season sweep of Arkansas in the last five attempts,... read more