Anthonique is of the Bahamas. She's been doing track and field since 2009. She started track from a bet with her cousins. They knew that she didn’t like outdoor activities and at a summer camp she decided to prove them wrong that she could survive a week in a outdoor sport. She signed up for swimming which was too crowded so she got sent to track and field. A current athlete at the time saw her and thought that she had talent and potential. She met a coach he talked to her parents and the rest is history.
How does it feel for running and racing to finally be back to normalcy?
To me it’s still not 100% normal but I’m grateful it’s way better and more competitive than 2020. It shows progress and adaptation to new circumstances.
What was one of the things you missed during the year of Covid restrictions?
I missed freedom. The ability to just get up and do things simultaneously and unplanned was no longer an option. In order to even travel you needed a Covid test and had to quarantine with apps on your phone asking countries for landing cards. Countries were on curfew and had restrictions. It felt like I was on house arrest.
What was one of the biggest training hurdles during that period and how did you deal with it?
It was honestly the mental aspect of it all. I went from preparing for Olympics to training with the hopes of running for the season but not even sure. Then my training group got cut into smaller groups to obey the gathering numbers limit. I went from training almost all day to being done with training by 11 am. So to fill my time I took up reading, new hobbies and even trying to learn a new language.
What was your experience like in this year's Olympic Trials?
I’m excited to become a 3-time Olympian. I’m grateful for the chance and opportunity to represent my country and myself at the highest level in sports.
What was the most special moment you took away from the Olympic Trials?
At my first Olympics in 2012 I didn’t really understand. I just came from world juniors and was a kid just happy to be there. 2016 I was hurt and drained mentally and physically. So I wasn’t in a good place but went because it was expected but I still didn't really fell like I was there. Now I’m in a better place mentally and I’m happier honestly. Plus I now believe in myself again.
If you could change one thing about the sport, what would it be?
It’s hard to just pick one but it would have to be the decision making process of the bigger heads. For example, the situation with the jumps where your previous jumps don't count but your last determines who’s first, second or third. In hopes to engage the crowd you’re hurting your athletes. Also the standards to get into championships are killing off the smaller countries and athletes dream.
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
They are both the same thing. My mind, because when I was in a mental rout my body was physically there to run fast but I doomed myself mentally because I need reassurance and help but no one saw it or cared at the time. It’s also my strongest because when I’m confident and mentally strong I know my only competitor is me and I will be focusing on my lane alone.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
In Doha 2019, I sweat off all the glue for my wig in warm-ups and I had to borrow about 3 headbands from my training mates. The whole time I was praying "please don’t let my wig leave me God". It was faithful to me during the race but during the last part of the media zone as I went to pick up something that dropped, it fell.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
Seeing people spit on the track, especially at the finish line. Because usually when we cross the line the first thing we do is sit there to take off spikes or lay on our back. Literally no one cleans the track so we are laying in someone’s dry spit. It’s annoying because you literally could walk a few meters over to the grass or if you can’t, afterwards you could get some water and throw it over it. Especially in these times of Covid, let’s help get a handle on it.
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobbies do you enjoy?
Outside of track and field I enjoy computer science. Reading books, going to a beach and sleeping late.
What's it like being able to represent your country on the biggest stages?
It’s actually exciting to represent my country and self at the biggest stages in the world. It lets me know that I’m actually putting in the work during training and making some sort of progress.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
It would have to be training partners Elaine Thompson-Herah and Stephanie Ann McPherson because I see how hard they work day in and day out whether injured or healthy. They are at every session giving 100% while still making efforts to motivate others in their own way.
Who is one of your favorite athletes to train with?
One of my favorite athletes to train with is Shericka Jackson because I knew her from 2009 and it’s nice to see the changes along with the process.
What's next for you?
After the Olympics, trying to give back to the local track and field community privately and as an athlete rep.
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