She overcame asthma and went on to win an Olympic gold medal. Jeanette Bolden, a former Olympic athlete and head coach for the 2008 U.S. Olympic women's track and field team, talks with Bob about her inspiring story of success and the importance of getting your asthma under control.
Born with allergic asthma, Jeanette was often hospitalized during her childhood because of her condition. She says she never let her condition get in the way, and her parents encouraged her pursue her passion for track and field. Jeanette says her quest for Olympic glory started shortly after she was accepted to UCLA and made the Olympic team in 1980, although the United States did not participate in those games.
In 1984, she competed for the United States in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She and her teammates won the gold medal in the 4-by-100 meter relay. "It's the ultimate accomplishment—like you have finally accomplished your goal," she says. "It's a great feeling of relief that you finally did accomplish it."
Now 48 and a mother of two, Jeanette is preparing to lead the U.S. Olympics women's track and field team to the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
For others living with asthma, Jeanette says its important to learn about the condition, seek the help of experts and find ways to manage your symptoms. Asthma isn't a handicap, she says, and nothing should get in the way of you and your dreams. "It's so important to go out there and live life to the fullest, " Jeanette says. ""You never know how far you can go if you put limits on yourself."
Published on July 31, 2008