Who is Jenna Prandini's mother Theresa? Athlete stayed by parent's side when she had cancer

This is Prandini’s second Olympic Games - at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, she competed in the 200 meters dash and finished tenth.

                            Who is Jenna Prandini's mother Theresa? Athlete stayed by parent's side when she had cancer
Jenna Prandini and her mother Theresa Prandini(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images and Instagram/ j_prandini)

American track and field athlete Jenna Prandini will be participating in the women's 4x100 meters relay finals at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, August 6 (local time). The team also consists of Javianne Oliver, Aleia Hobbs, Teahna Daniels, and English Gardner. 

On Thursday, the USA team was placed second in the first heat, clocking 41.90 seconds ahead of third-placed Jamaica, who posted a timing of 42.15 seconds. Jamaica used Briana Williams, Natasha Morrison, Remona Burchell, and Shericka Jackson in the heat, choosing not to use Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the initial stage.


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The Olympic and world record in the women’s 4x100m relay is 40.82 seconds, set by the US in London 2012. Teams, as per the official rules, are allowed to enter up to six athletes. Heat-runners from winning teams receive medals even if they do not participate in the final.

This is Prandini’s second Olympic Games - at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, she competed in the 200 meters dash and finished tenth. Earlier this year, in an interview, she said of her first stint: “I think it will help me a lot. Obviously, I was really excited to be there and honored to represent the United States. I didn’t perform how I wanted to. I walked away already thinking about what I wanted to do for this next Olympics. I had spent an extra year waiting for it to get here and now the time is finally back and I’m excited to get back there on the track and perform and be there again and have another opportunity to compete.”

“I think I have everything I need to medal,” Prandini said. “It’s just a matter of me going out there and executing what I do in practice. I’m really excited about that and confident.”

“It means the world to get on the Olympic team,” she said. “I grew up dreaming about this and worked so hard to get to the place I’m at now. To be able to go out and qualify was really incredible. To do it at Hayward Field was really special in front of my family and friends.”


Who is Jenna Prandini’s mother?

A July article from Oregon Live spoke about Prandini’s mother and how the mayor of Clovis in California asked Prandini’s mother, Theresa, for a sign supporting the athlete that read: “Go Jenna Go! Tokyo 2020.”

The former Oregon Ducks star sprinter, and the daughter of Carlo and Theresa Prandini, is supported by the whole community. Per Theresa, the athlete is “friendly” but “not loud about it” - growing up, she’d reportedly hang out with anyone in her neighborhood, no matter their age. Prandini also used to paint pictures in the garage with a neighbor who was more than 60 years older than her. 

The US athlete, per the website, had to go through a rough phase in her childhood. When Prandini was in kindergarten, Theresa had breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. A young Prandini sat in the bedroom chair and didn’t want to leave her mother’s side for six months. “People have just been attracted to her and appreciate the type of person and athlete that she is,” Theresa said.


A year after the 2016 Rio Olympics, Prandini suffered a stress fracture in her foot -- one of many injuries in her career -- and was barely able to put any weight on it. In 2019, it happened again - she also fractured her shoulder after a box split from under her while she was lifting weights the same year. As per the report, amid her injury as a freshman at Oregon, Theresa drove to Eugene with oatmeal cookies to cheer her up.

During another stint of rehab, Prandini lived at home and Theresa would time her at the track. “Instead of just sitting around and moping around, it was like, ‘I know the process, I know what has to be done, so I’m going to do everything that I can to stay as fit as possible,’” Prandini said.

After Prandini placed second in the 200 meters final, securing a spot in Tokyo, Prandini’s mother and nephew McCoy reportedly pushed their way to the bottom row at Hayward Field. The athlete then wrapped her arms around them. “I’m so proud of you,” Theresa said to her.

Prandini told Oregon Live, “My family is my whole heart.”

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