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Gold medal sprinter teaches girls winning habits
Olympic Gold medal winner, Tianna Madison, is now helping young women gain crucial skills.
September 11th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

Gold medal sprinter teaches girls winning habits

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By Wynn Westmoreland, for CNN

(CNN) - In the 4×100 sprint relay, it is the handoffs that decide the winner. Speed is important, but without a top-notch changeover, you're out. The maneuver is a perfectly orchestrated move performed in a split second without looking.

It's all about teamwork, something Tianna Madison knows a thing or two about. She was part of the U.S. team that won gold in the relay at the London Olympics, shattering the world record in the process.

Madison is now back in the U.S., using the lessons she learned on the track to help young girls learn their worth and make positive choices for the future.

As a role model, she is not shy to share her experiences - including the downs in her life: "I went from being World Champion long jumper in 2005, to nothing in the last seven years, to now being an Olympian.

"I dealt with a bankruptcy; I had my home foreclosed, and these were things that happened and I was not honest with myself about why I was in that situation," she said.

Crucially for her career, she realized that she couldn't deal with everything on her own. She was lucky enough to get help and support from her husband.

Building on this experience, she started Club 360, to give young women love and support, which they might not find elsewhere.

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Filed under: Gender • Girls • How we live • Sports