U.S. Olympic Sprinter Trayvon Bromell Beat the Odds, Provides Hope

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Jul. 28 2021, Published 10:02 a.m. ET

The net worth of U.S. Olympic sprinter Trayvon Bromell—already estimated to be between $1 million and $5 million—could get a big boost after the Tokyo Olympics. Gold medals come with a $37,500 prize from the United States Olympic Committee, after all.

But the gold, glory, and cash isn’t want drives Bromell. As he told The Guardian in a recent interview, the prospect of change is what gives his life purpose.

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“I just want to give hope,” he explained. “I want kids to see me, and see that they could do it too. That gold medal will definitely be a great accomplishment. But the real gold medal is the change that is going to bring. Because people will see like, dang, he went rock-bottom. He didn’t give up. He kept pushing. He made it back to the pinnacle of the sport. And won. This is what I’m trying to show kids across the globe, that all odds can be against you. That doesn’t mean you stop fighting.”

Bromell struggled as a kid, especially with broken bones.

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The 26-year-old told The Guardian that he doesn’t mind the spectator-less Tokyo Olympics because he “grew up with no eyes watching.” During his childhood in St. Petersburg, Fla., his mother worked 12 hours a day to keep him sheltered. He also broke both knees and a hip in his younger years.

“People weren’t there when I struggled,” Bromell added. “People weren’t there when me and my mom could barely pay the bills. And when we didn’t know whether we were going to have a house over our heads, there were no eyes on me. So now when I run, it doesn’t factor for me. It’s the same 100 meters.”

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Trayvon Bromell scored a New Balance contract in 2015.

In another boon to his net work, Bromell signed a multi-year endorsement contract with New Balance in 2015. At the time, he was a Baylor University junior who had become the first U.S. high school athlete to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds. He had also won third place in the 100-meter final at the IAAF World Championships.

“I knew after Worlds and medaling, I knew that I could get a good contract, so my main thing was to figure things out with my family,” he told SI.com at the time. “We felt that right now [going professional] was the best decision. … In a moment like this, it’s a 50-50 chance if you decide to go back to school. You could get injured, and your value would drop. We felt like the opportunity was in our face. It’s a great contract.”

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Bromell overcame potentially career-ending injuries.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Bromell tore his achilles tendon in the 4×100m relay and needed a wheelchair to cart him off the track. As he recuperated, he had to sit out from races for all of 2018. And then in 2019, he seriously injured his hip.

“I broke all these bones,” he told The Guardian. “I’ve had all these injuries that most will probably never come back from. I’ve met with many doctors, more than any one athlete should have to meet. And they all came back with the same result: ‘You won’t run fast.’ I’ve been hearing that since I was in eighth grade.”

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