There’s great news coming out of Beijing! You may be familiar with the story of Tasha Danvers-Smith. This athlete from the United Kingdom was one of Britain’s best hopes for gold in the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics. However, she became unexpectedly pregnant. The father of her baby was her coach-husband.
There was enormous pressure from the track and field community to abort her baby. A child, she was told, would destroy her Olympic dreams of gaining a medal. Tasha and her husband, Darrell, chose life for their baby. As a result, Tasha was castigated in the media. We, on the other hand, presented her with our Hero At Heart award, given to those who demonstrate outstanding courage or compassion on behalf of innocent human life. Tasha and I became fast friends ever since. During the first season of our half-hour weekly TV program, Facing Life Head-On, I interviewed Tasha and Darrell regarding these events.
Fast forward to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Tasha is once again competing against the best in the world in the 400 meter hurdles event. On August 20, 2008 she ran her personal best to claim the bronze medal! With this tremendous victory, Tasha has demonstrated to women all over the world that they don’t have to sacrifice their unborn children to fulfill their dreams. Tasha’s three-year-old son, Jaden, was an inspiration to her Olympic goals. The very thing critics said would destroy and derail her hopes was central to helping her fulfill them.
Tasha stood strong for life, even when it meant temporarily giving up her dreams for an Olympic medal. Now she has become a member of the exclusive club of Olympic champions, and she has her beautiful son, Jaden. I couldn’t be happier for her!