2022 Nike Pre Classic: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on motherhood By Sam Fariss for RunBlogRun


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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce takes the NIke Pre Classic 200 meters, May 28, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been on the athletics radar since 2008. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is one of the most ferocious competitors in the sport. My first interview with SAFP was in 2011 or 2012 at the Nike Pre Classic. Shelly-Ann told me then that she needed to race a lot so that she could race into shape.

Sam Farriss has been writing for RunBlogRun for just over a year now, and I have always liked her approach to sports writing. Sam did a great interview with RunBlogRun in February.

I like Sam's feature on SAFP.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been outspoken on her life, her sport, motherhood. When BBC World Sports asked me about her longevity about a month ago, I told them that my belief is that SAFP having a complete life, her racing savvy, her approach to training and focus on the long term is what makes her so successful.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on motherhood
By Sam Fariss

There has always been a shadow hovering over female athletes who decide to start families, or at the very least begin trying. Sponsors have pulled out of contracts and doubts have been hurled in women's direction. Track and field athletes such as Allyson Felix and Quanera Hayes have worked to shine a light on the mistreatment of women who decide to become mothers and return to their sport.

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - an Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalist as well as a nine-time World Athletics champion - has also worked to illuminate just how incredible women, who are mothers or not, can be within the track and field community.

"It doesn't limit you, if anything it enhances your performance and also gives you that extra push to show the world that as women we don't like to be put in a box, we like to be focused on and understood and know that we can get to the next level and evolve," Fraser-Pryce said.

In 2017, Fraser-Pryce discovered that she was pregnant with her son and was unable to defend her Jamaican national title but was quick to get back to work so that she would be prepared for her return to the track for the 2019 championships.

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 2022 Kip Keino Classic, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC

At the Prefontaine Classic press conference on Friday, Fraser-Pryce was happy to announce that she is not currently pregnant and is feeling good about her race this weekend which will be her ninth appearance at the meet in Eugene.

"I think Pre has been known to have the best fields and to be a champion you want to test where you're at and to have the best in the world lined up is always where you want to be," Fraser-Pryce said. "So being able to have that competition to know where you're at and what you need to work on is always good so I'm always excited to be here."

Women like Fraser-Pryce, Felix, and more exist around the world, whether they are athletes or not, but using a worldwide platform as a professional athlete has helped bring more attention to the discrepancies in treatment like never before.

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC

These athletes have a reason and a drive to come back to competition and a lot of the time that is only amplified by the fact that they have a young child. However, Fraser-Pryce finds inspiration from other places as well.

"It was difficult to have role models in the environment we were in," Fraser-Pryce said. "I was really focused on my mom and her work ethic. That kind of gave me that drive to say I didn't want to end up in that situation."

At the Prefontaine Classic, Fraser-Pryce competed in the women's 200-meter race, finishing 1st overall with a time of 22:41 - a season-best.
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