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Evelyn Ashford


Since retiring after the 1992 Olympics, Ashford has served as a public speaker and has done Olympic advisory work for General Motors. She has also been a track and field commentator and has made public appearances for the U.S. Olympic Committee, although most of her time is devoted to being a mother to her daughter, Raina. She told Don Bosley of the Sacramento Bee in April 2000, "This is as close as I need to be to track and field. I am very satisfied with where I left the sport, what I accomplished in the sport." She also said that Wilma Rudolph was her inspiration as a girl. "I just wanted to get some Olympic gold medals," said Ashford. "I thought that was the highest accomplishment anybody could have was to get a gold medal. Even one."

Evelyn Ashford has been one of the most successful women sprinters in history, overcoming the obstacles of a lack of support for women in the sport during the early 1970s as well as the lost opportunity to participate in the 1980 Olympics. At only 5'5" tall, she was fiercely competitive on the track but warm and personable to everyone. Ashford has proved that being a wife and mother can be compatible with sustaining a record-breaking career in sports.

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