Fans tuned in to the season 14 premiere of Real Housewives Of Atlanta, Sunday night, and were introduced to somewhat of a new face on the popular reality TV franchise. In addition to longtime ‘RHOA’ castmember, Marlo Hampton landing a peach this season, 4x Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross made her debut. But this isn’t her first time on reality TV. Sanya Richards-Ross had a reality TV show Glam & Gold in 2013.
The Jamaican-American track and field athlete became a household name during her historic Olympic run. Ross was named the IAAF 2006 and 2009 Female World Athlete of the Year. Ross retired in 2016 following a toe injury that resulted in increasing pain each performance season.
Ross is making her return to the spotlight, giving fans a deeper look into her personal life as she navigates her career, marriage, and mommyhood on ‘RHOA.’ There’s so much to know about the track star turned reality TV personality, keep scrolling to get the deets on Sanya Richards-Ross.
Sanya Richards-Ross became the first female athlete in history to win gold in the women’s 4 x 400m relay at three consecutive Olympics as part of USA’s team that reigned supreme in the event at the Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), and London (2012) Summer Games. She also earned an individual gold medal in the Women’s 400m at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Sanya previously won the bronze medal in that event at the 2008 Summer Games. (Bravo)
Sanya Richards-Ross and her husband, former NY Giants player Aaron Ross, welcomed their first and only child — Aaron Jermaine Ross II — into the world in 2017, a year after she announced her retirement from competing. Sanya and Aaron have been married for over 19 years.
“The hardest part of mothering has been the ‘mommy guilt’ I feel when I have to leave for work,” she told PEOPLE in 2018. “I know it’s important for me to continue doing the things I love to do, and one day it will set a great example for my son but it doesn’t make it any easier. I hate missing even the smallest of milestones.”
According to ESPN, Ross was diagnosed with Behcet’s syndrome and spent five years fighting the autoimmune disease until she visited a new doctor, who gave her a new diagnosis and new treatment.
Per MayoClinic, “Behcet’s (beh-CHETS) disease, also called Behcet’s syndrome, is a rare disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout your body. The disease can lead to numerous signs and symptoms that can seem unrelated at first. They can include mouth sores, eye inflammation, skin rashes and lesions, and genital sores. Treatment involves medications to reduce the signs and symptoms of Behcet’s disease and to prevent serious complications, such as blindness.”
After switching treatment, Sanya admitted, “I feel as healthy as I’ve ever felt.” She went on to say, “I’m not being treated for Behcet’s anymore. I’m really excited about that but I still have a little time to go.”
As a businesswoman, mother, wife, and history maker, Sanya was the perfect addition to the RHOA cast. While she has formed friendships with all the ladies, Sanya recalled the great advice Kandi Burruss gave her about filming.
“Kandi just told me, she’s like, ‘Be yourself,’” Sanya shared during an E Online interview. “She also told me about showing up late. The first event I went to with the Housewives, I got there about 30 minutes late and I realized Atlanta’s ‘fashionably late’s about an hour, hour and a half. I was still early.” When asked if she was told the golden rule, she responded, “Don’t leave the table, don’t miss a beat,” Sanya responded. “Yes, I got that advice early.”
Sanya Richards-Ross released her memoir Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Taught Me About God and Life, in 2017. One of the standout revelations was the former Olympian got an abortion days before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“I made a decision that broke me, and one from which I would not immediately heal from. Abortion would not forever be a part of my life. A scarlet letter I never thought I’d wear.”