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The Brittney Reese Exit Interview (Or Maybe Not?): Long Overdue Appreciation For The 3x Olympic medalist, 7x World Champion

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My guest for this episode is one of the greatest track and field athletes of all-time. She doesn’t get the credit she deserves. It’s the one and only Brittney Reese aka B Reese aka Da Beast. She is the Michael Jordan of the long jump. She was the 2012 Olympic champion and the Olympic silver medalist in 2016 and 2021. She won four world outdoor titles (2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017). She won three world indoor titles (2010, 2012 and 2016). She is a 13x U.S. champion. She was a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Mississippi.

With all of those accomplishments, you’d think her face would be plastered on billboards or commercials in the leadup to the world championships or Olympics but it rarely was. After her silver at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, she decided to retire…or so we think. As you’ll hear in this episode, the door might be open for a possible comeback. My cohost, Jasmine Todd, and I  touch on what can be done better to market and showcase the jumps + what’s next for Da Beast as a coach and mother.

Catch the latest episode of the podcast on Apple Podcasts. We are also on Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify.


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SHOW NOTES AND NOTABLE QUOTES

Her Thoughts On The Next Generation of U.S. Jumpers

“When I came into the game, I instantly put myself into the top ranks. My first time ever competing at USAs, I didn’t get a medal but I was in there. I’m interested to see how we develop. Not being disrespectful but I know it’s going to be a minute once we get more medals out of it. We’re going to have to have some consistency. You’re gonna have to jump seven meters. The future is bright but I feel like it’s going to have to be like when I first came into the game. We wasn’t winning when I first came in. We was making finals but we wasn’t winning. We hadn’t won until maybe until Marion Jones and then I came along. Me and Tianna (Bartoletta) really carried it. I feel like that’s what it’s going to be like. It’s going to be a little decline but we’ll definitely get back on top.”

On Being Underappreciated In The Overall Pantheon Of Track And Field

“I was never in it for the money or the fame. But if you really think about it, I had more gold medals than Allyson Felix individually. I have more medals – if I’m not mistaken – than Usain Bolt individually. Yeah, it sucks but it all goes back to how the track takes over the field. It’s just unfortunate but again, I feel like I was put on this earth to inspire and not to be that person. That’s just not who I was put on this earth to be. I never really dwelled on it. Do I feel like I was underappreciated? Yeah, of course. It’s track and field. I’m definitely underappreciated if we’re talking real talk. I’m not on that type of time or type of level. I just never really cared about things like that. But, I am the MJ of long jump though. I feel like I am that.”

What Can Be Done To Better Improve The Presentation, Storytelling For The Jumps

“More street meets – jumping in bigger cities like somewhere in New York. I’ve jumped in Berlin. We were jumping and fans from all over were able to watch us compete. They’ve started now with split-screening. We don’t want to watch them run 12 laps. Put the 12 laps right here and put the long jump right here so we can watch a couple of that. Watch a couple shot put. They can split-screen. When the final two laps come along, we can slide it over to them.There are ways to do it. I just feel like again, it’s lazy. They don’t want to market it. There are ways you can compare us jumping to like jumping over cars. There are a lot of things they can do but it’s lazy. I don’t think it’s ever going to change. I like the split-screen idea but we’ll see how long that lasts. I like them putting us on another network but you still have to be fair on the main network. You still have to find a way to put us on the main network. Shoe companies will say, ‘It’s because you’re not on TV so that’s why we can’t pay you.’ That’s BS. That ain’t got to do with nothing. Because there are kids that like the long jump. There are not kids that just like the sprints. There are not kids that don’t like to do high jump. There are kids all over so you should be able to share that some way so you’re able to engage the fan a bit more.I saw one high jump that was done in a grocery store. Make it fun so that fans can be engaged. Like, ‘Dang! They jumped over a whole Cadillac.’ Something like that.  There’s plenty of stuff. I don’t know what they’re gonna do.”


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