By Dr. Pete Sulack
The eyes of the world will soon be fixed on London as the 2012 Summer Olympics get underway. The staff of Exodus Chiropractic will be particularly excited about a race due to unfold the first weekend of August.
That is when 2004 Olympic gold medalist DeeDee Trotter will again run as a member of the 1,600 meter relay team after she qualified at the trials in Eugene, Oregon in late June. DeeDee counts Exodus among several chiropractors on her medical team, which helped her recover from a devastating knee injury in 2008.
She failed to make the Olympic team that year. Still, she cites her third-place finish at the Olympic trials as her proudest athletic accomplishment because she had to overcome so many obstacles just to get to that point.
We know DeeDee as an energetic, vivacious individual whose optimism radiates throughout our offices whenever she visits Knoxville.
Her participation in such a highly visible arena includes an outstanding Christian witness. Bothered by widespread doping in numerous sports, in 2007 she founded “Test Me, I’m Clean.”
A federally-recognized non-profit, it seeks to counteract the idea that steroids and other performance enhancing drugs are necessary for athletic success. It has received coverage in Sports Illustrated and other national media, with wristbands distributed by the foundation worn around the world.
This cause emerged from the negative publicity about steroid use among athletes, she said in a recent interview on our Kingdom Business radio show. Not only did she want to combat such abuse, she wanted the public to know that she relied solely on natural talent.
Perhaps even more impressive is—at the age of 29—DeeDee has come back to compete at the highest level of track and field. She calls such determination to never give up part of the way God made her, noting that she has to be stronger mentally than the next person.
“I find all the strength to do this in Christ,” DeeDee said. “If I didn’t have the Lord, I would not know what to do. I’m 29; when I was 25 or 26 I was doing things that…I didn’t understand were coming from the Lord. I didn’t know it was God’s message coming through me.”
Her life includes a journey that saw the California native move to Atlanta when she was 10, which brought her in touch with that city’s emphasis on youth sports.
Ironically, she never dreamed of pursuing the Olympics since basketball was her first love. However, her speed wound up earning her a scholarship to the University of Tennessee and helped pay for her education.
While DeeDee still plans to run track for two more years, her passion is to get into coaching. She already holds a Level 1 certification, which will enable her to step into that endeavor once she retires from competition.
“It’s a desire in me I have no control over,” said DeeDee, who credits her faith with sustaining her through numerous challenges and advises people to look to God. “You have to have patience, wait on the Lord and stay prayed up.”
What a great word from a world-class athlete! We hope you will join us in cheering DeeDee and her teammates on to the gold medal.