The Sacrifice and Dark Times of Female Elite Athletes

September 21, 2021

by Areva Martin

As I read Coco Gauff’s tweet announcing that a positive COVID test had ended her 2021 Olympic dream, I remembered all too vividly the dashed hopes of two other young women. 

My daughters’ history with elite sports had already been on my mind as I watched Naomi Osaka step away from the French Open and speak publicly about her anxiety, as I read of Serena Williams’ decision to forfeit the Tokyo Olympics because the COVID protocols would separate her from her 3-year-old daughter, and as I saw Sha’Carri Richardson struggle with her suspension after testing positive for marijuana in the aftermath of her mother’s death.

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