Discus-thrower Aretha Thurmond won the 2008 Olympic Trials, then was a solid qualifier in Beijing (61.90 meters/203 feet, 1.01 inches) before placing tenth in the final.
Winning by losing:
Thurmond began her track and field career following a lost bet. She wanted to play softball in high school, but her phys ed teacher wanted her to go out for track. They made a bet that if he could beat her in one-on-one basketball, she would give up softball. He won the bet, and she went on to win three Washington state discus titles.
Twice as nice:
Thurmond won her second consecutive U.S. Olympic Trials discus competition in 2008 with a best throw of 65.20 meters (213 feet, 10.93 inches). Her winning attempt in 2004 traveled 63.55 meters (208-5.97). Thurmond also qualified for the Olympic team by placing third in 1996. She was fourth at the 2000 Trials.
Prior to the 2008 Olympic Trials, Thurmond won three U.S. Outdoor championships. She also earned gold medals at the 1999 and 2003 Pan Am Games.
- Height: 5-10
- Weight: 235
- Age: 32
- Birth date: August 14, 1976
- Hometown: Renton, Washington
- World Championships: None