Sanya Richards-Ross: Inspiring 'RHOA' star won an Olympic gold weeks after an abortion
The 'RHOA' debut star lost a pregnancy one day before departing for the 2008 Olympics and still ended up bagging the gold
Sanya Richards-Ross has been battling an emotional trauma for fourteen years. In her memoir, 'Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life', the former track star confessed that she had an abortion mere days before competing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she won a gold medal.
Sanya wrote that she was afraid of what would happen if the situation became public. Her boyfriend Ross was unable to attend the procedure due to training camp, and while it was completed swiftly, the emotional trauma took much longer to overcome. Sanya Richards-Ross, a former Olympian, is the most recent addition to the 'RHOA' cast. She is also the first Olympian athlete to join the cast of the 'Real Housewives' franchises.
Sanya, who is now retired, was engaged to Aaron Ross, a former NFL cornerback, when she had her abortion in 2008. She told Ross over a phone call that she was pregnant before she decided to undergo an abortion. They later married, and their first kid was born in 2017. After failing to join the Rio Olympic team, Sanya became an NBC Sports track and field analyst.
Going into Beijing, Sanya was the 400m favorite but a doctor advised her to conduct "no activity" for two weeks after the abortion, she revealed. However, this was a command she simply couldn't carry out. She kept it a secret from her coaches and her father.
As a devout Christian, Sanya suffered from severe depression after having to terminate the pregnancy. She said: "I made a decision that broke me, and one from which I would not immediately heal. Abortion would now forever be a part of my life. A scarlet letter I never thought I'd wear." Sanya is also the founder of MommiNation, a blog dedicated to providing black women with support, empowerment, and inspiration.
What should 'RHOA' fans expect from the newcomer?
Sanya is the first Olympian athlete to join the cast of the 'Real Housewives' franchises, which have previously featured attorneys and doctors. Her life as an athlete was documented on WE TV's reality show 'Glam and Gold,' which focused on her balancing her family and career. Though the show was terminated after the first season, her reality TV experience will undoubtedly add drama to 'RHOA.'
Sanya is an inspiring figure in other respects too. Not only did she win four gold medals at the Olympics but did it while diagnosed with Behçet's disease. Behçet's is a rare illness that causes mouth and body ulcers and lesions. Sanya eventually revealed she had been misdiagnosed, and her new treatments had her feeling better than ever. Now, Sanya divides her time between motherhood and being a great supporter of the Black community.
'RHOA' season 14 premieres on Sunday, May 1 at 8/7c.