FIVE-TIME OLYMPIAN (1988-2004)- THE SECOND U.S. WOMEN TO QUALIFY FOR FIVE OLYMPIC GAMES IN TRACK AND FIELD  •  THREE-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST (1992 -100M DASH, 1996 -100M DASH, 4X100M RELAY)  •  EIGHT-TIME WORLD CHAMPION  •  10-TIME U.S. CHAMPION  •  1999 VISA USA TRACK AND FIELD HUMANITARIAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
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Gail Devers

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Personal Quotes
Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
Personal Info

Born On:  November 19, 1966
Hometown:  Seattle, Washington
Resides:  Duluth, Georgia
Education:  University of California- Los Angeles: BA Sociology

Biography

Speaking Topics: Diversity, Women of Achievement, Health and Wellness, Overcoming Adversity, Leadership Development and Seminars

Gail Devers loved to run, even as a young child. Tired of losing impromptu races against her older brother, she started training on her own. Once she beat him, he would never race her again, but for Gail it was the start of a long, successful career, though one full of personal challenges and triumphs. She began breaking barriers well before her Olympic career began as she became the first female from her high school to receive a track and field scholarship to a major university. Gail went on to run for powerhouse UCLA, where she began her illustrious athletic career. Despite health issues, Gail continued with her “Don’t Quit” attitude and eventually won three Olympic Gold Medals at five Olympic Games. She continues to share her message of dedication and determination with corporations, universities, and non-profit organizations.


Battling Graves Disease and Health Issues
While training for the her first Olympic Games in 1988 Games, her health began to deteriorate. She suffered from migraine headaches, sleeplessness, fainting spells and frequent vision loss. What should have been a shining moment for her as an athlete ended up being one of the most challenging times of her life. After three years of misdiagnoses, Gail was diagnosed in 1991 with Graves’ disease, a debilitating chronic thyroid disorder that she treats with medication and a careful diet.

While it was a relief to finally know the cause, the lapsed time had led to more health problems in the preceding years and she faced possible amputation of both of her feet during this time. But between her determination, medical treatments and dedicated rehabilitation, Gail was able to recover in time to not only qualify for the 1992 Olympic Games, but also capture her first gold medal by winning the 100m dash. She went on to win two more gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games. Still determined not to let Grave’s disease stand in the way of her personal mission, she testified in 2002 in front of Congress as part of an investigation into ways to combat medical mistakes, including misdiagnosis. She continues to be an advocate in the health and wellness sector, speaking not only to Grave’s disease, but also speaking on the importance of living a balanced lifestyle.

Gail made her fourth Olympic Team in 2000 where she was expected to shine. But yet again, she would face another health challenge. She had injured her right Achilles tendon and left hamstring prior to the U.S. Trials. She had recovered in time to win the 100m hurdles at the Trials in a new American record time, but the injuries resurfaced at the Games and she had to pull out of the race. Gail went on to make her fifth Olympic Games in 2004, however a calf injury suffered in training ended her Olympic hopes.

Entrepreneur and Business Woman
Gail is a dedicated wife and an active mom of two young daughters, and also balances several successful business ventures. She works with the Wellness Performance Institute on preparing young football players for the NFL draft, coaching and advising athletes on how to build their speed and maximize performance on the field. Additionally, Gail and her husband Mike founded Phil Prod LLC and G5, a women’s apparel line that is currently being developed. She is a powerful motivational and education speaker, touching on topics such as Women of Achievement, Diversity, Overcoming Challenges, The Importance of Education and Giving Back to the Community, and Health & Wellness.

Giving Back to the Community
Gail’s conviction that a true champion always keeps her chin up led her to create The Gail Devers Foundation in 1996. The Foundation creates an avenue that helps fund and inspire positive changes within communities. The foundation offers a scholarship program for youth and implemented a mentorship curriculum, FORCE, designed to build character and inspire elementary students in Los Angeles.

In April 2009, Gail spoke at the National Keystone Conference with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Addressing over 1200 teenagers, Gail spoke about the importance of education and giving back to the community. Gail’s ability to relate to all audiences, including teens, helps define her as a prominent and powerful speaker.