BY Dollita Okine, 4:40pm July 03, 2024,

This is how Gabby Thomas balanced school, medical work, and sports to qualify for the Olympics

Thomas recently finished her master's degree in public health in May, and decided to focus entirely on her Olympic preparation. Photo Credit: Instagram, Gabby Thomas

The 27-year-old 200-meter track and field star, Gabby Thomas, has been balancing her training for the 2024 Olympics in Paris with her volunteer work at a medical clinic.

The Harvard neurobiology graduate told “It’s kind of a balancing act, but that’s the way I like it. I like coming home from track and having something completely different to focus on. And when I’m doing my clinic work, I can’t wait to get back to the track.”

After intense Olympic training sessions, Thomas, whose dedication to track and field and healthcare is evident in her ability to find fulfillment in both areas, explained that she finds renewed energy at the clinic, saying, “…When I’m tired and wheezing from practice, I’m just like, ‘I’m so grateful to be doing what I love and to be able to do it for a living,’”

To train while pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Texas, Thomas relocated to Austin, Texas. She attributes her resilience in her Olympic training to her mother’s inspiring journey of completing her Ph.D. while raising her family as a single parent.

“Watching her be a single parent without two pennies to scrub together and working her way up and to being what she is now, a successful professor living out her dreams and starting a non-profit to help people get [an] education. I mean, that was a lot to watch,” she recounted.

Despite witnessing her daughter’s track and field career take off, Thomas’s mother never wavered in her focus on the value of education, which has been essential to her daughter’s success on and off the track.

Thomas chose to devote all of her attention to her Olympic preparation after completing her master’s degree in public health in May even though her mother wanted her to get her PhD next.

During the recent U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Thomas won the 200-meter final at 21.81 seconds, cementing her status as a top contender with previous achievements including a bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics and a silver from last year’s World Championships.

The go-getter dominated the race from start to finish, outpacing Sha’Carri Richardson, and will be joined by first-time Olympians Brittany Brown and McKenzie Long on the U.S. Olympic 200-meter team.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 3, 2024


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