Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the 100m, 200m and 4x100m world champion. She's also a double Olympic 100m gold medallist. And as we found out after spending an hour with her in Monaco, SAFP is more than just a fast pair of legs. Over to you, Shelly...
Shelly-Ann on… winning
“For me, when I cross the finish line and I win, it’s always like: okay then, I need to work that much harder next year.
"I don’t celebrate in my mind, like: ‘oh yeah I won’. I immediately start preparing for next year.”
Pink flash: Clear blue Mondo between SAFP and the rest.
Shelly-Ann on… non-holidays
“I feel like once I become complacent, everything will just fall. I never allow myself to sleep. I never allow myself a break to try and unwind and have a vacation.
“Even when I go on vacation, within a week I start to jog or I start to do abs or push-ups. That’s just me. It’s all about getting better and taking advantage of NOW! The time is now. I’m so energetic and so ready.”
Shelly-Ann on… the future
“The focus is to get better and to work more. People say, ‘what more can you accomplish as an athlete?’ And I think: there’s so much more to accomplish.
“I had said I wanted to go into the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture. But I want to go in at a position which can help me not only to make decisions but im-PLE-MENT them!
“If I was in the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture, I would be recommending – but it doesn’t mean that they’ll actually do it! So, then, I’m going to run for Prime Minister!”
Shelly-Ann on… the competition
“I like to compete against Carmelita [Jeter]. It’s old but it’s true. When she lines up, oh my god, you can’t count her out for anything. She brings out a certain push, a certain drive when you compete.
"She has that look, she has that technique… You have to make sure that you get that start. It definitely gets me motivated."
That look: Fraser-Pryce beats Jeter at the world champs in Moscow.
Shelly-Ann on… giving back to her community
“To whom much is given, much is expected. For me to have my foundation, for me to help in my country, it means a lot. I understand completely what it is to help someone who is less fortunate.
“The future here [in Jamaica] is not looking so well, especially when you look at our street children and children not going to school.
“I’ve been in those situations where, you know, I’m coming from a single parent. Sometimes it is hard and I can understand how difficult it can be for some of our kids in Jamaica. And all they need is just that one push: that one bit of support. For me to be able to do that… I have all the energy in the world to do it.
“I feel it’s just something that I have to do. That’s how I feel when I do it, and to see the children, and to see the joy it brings them is something that nothing can ever replace or change.”
Shelly-Ann on… learning from her own experiences
“There are definitely lots of young girls who can’t see the way out. For me it’s very easy to sit down and have a conversation with them, and try to understand them, and tell them what we can accomplish if we believe in ourselves.
“We go into high schools with young girls and we try to empower them to think differently. It’s OK to be different. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to have disappointment. But those disappointments are supposed to fuel your future success.
“A lot of our athletes, before they are known to the world, they are struggling back in Jamaica. A lot of them aren’t able to get medical attention because they have no money. A lot of them are not able to eat properly because there’s no support for them.
“We are international athletes, so we want the facilities. We want to be able to have a voice to say: ‘if this doesn’t go the way we want it: we’re not running.’”
Pocket rocket: SAFP (lane 5) storms out of the blocks.
Shelly-Ann on… Jamaican sprinting
“A lot has changed in our country. We’ve done so well, because now we have coaches that are smart. They’re reading more and they’re researching. There is a huge difference in output in what we’re doing now as athletes.
“Our young athletes who are doing well in high school aren’t choosing to go overseas now. There’s no longer this huge migration [to the USA]. We have good schools in Jamaica.
“There are so many young athletes in Jamaica. We have Carrie Russell [age 23, PB’s of 10.98 and 22.62] and a young athlete called Natasha Morrison [age 21, PB’s of 11.17 & 23.08].
“An athlete doing very well at high school running 200 and 400 is Shericka Jackson [age 19, PB’s of 22.84 and 51.60]. She’s now at MVP.
“They’ll have some motivation of course, and we all train together. It’s not the case where I train alone. I train with all these young girls every day.”