Series23 Dec 2013

Work, rest and play – Tiffany Porter


British sprint hurdler Tiffany Porter (© Getty Images)

Britain’s Tiffany Porter is among the world’s best sprint hurdlers. We delve a little more deeply into the life of the world indoor silver medallist and world bronze medallist as she answers our work, rest and play questions.


What are your three favourite things about being an athlete?

Tiffany Porter: One is to be able to travel the world and see many different countries I wouldn’t normally visit. Two is getting paid to be fit. How cool is that? And three is the relationships I’ve built through track and field.

What is your least favourite part about being an athlete?

TP: I’m such a family orientated person and the fact that I can’t see my family for extended periods of time is probably the worst part.

Who is your favourite training partner?

TP: Jeffrey Porter (Tiffany’s husband and US sprint hurdler). We are both super competitive, but at the same time we know we are trying to make each other better. We talk so much trash during each session but because we are trying to push each other it makes it fun.

Do you have an all-time favourite training venue?

TP: I really like training at the Loughborough High Performance Centre (in the UK). The facilities are amazing. It is a real one-stop shop. It is such a good facility.

Do you have a favourite song to train to?

TP: My iPod is usually on shuffle and I listen to a lot of hip hop, R&B and gospel when I’m training. Before I compete I like to listen to a mix of really fast upbeat music. In Moscow the song I listened to for the whole of the World Championships was I’m Out by Ciara and Nicki Minaj.


Describe your perfect non-training day.

TP: I probably would wake up around 10’o’clock and then eat a big delicious breakfast with pancakes and eggs, everything you could imagine. I would then watch a movie, that’s one of my favourite things to do. I would then stop by my mom’s house and see my parents and family. Everything about the day would not be about athletics, so the day would be about not eating healthily, not going to bed early and not even thinking about training.

Do you have a favourite movie?

TP: I love The Lion King. It is such a cute movie, but I also think it has a lot of depth to it.

What is your biggest stress reliever?

TP: My biggest stress reliever is also my biggest stress causer in the sense that athletics both relieves stress, but it can also very stressful. It is a catch-22. I do like going for a run and working out. It generally relieves my stress.

Who is your favourite athlete to relax with?

TP: That’s easy. It’s Jeff Porter. We have so much fun together – everything is just easy and he is my best friend. My little sister (Cindy, also a sprint hurdler) is also so much fun. So how about hanging out with Jeff for half a day and my sister for half a day? That would be perfect.

Do you a favourite drink to relax with?

TP: I like sweet drinks with loads of sugar, so maybe a slushy (a frozen drink).


I believe you have an interest in sewing, how did the interest start?

TP: My mum and grandmother sewed and I’ve always been able to hand sew pretty well. Growing up seeing all the Nigerian outfits at parties (Tiffany’s father is Nigerian) really inspired me. It would be really cool to one day make clothes for my (future) kids.

What is the trickiest item you’ve ever sewed?

TP: I’ve just started a sewing course and I’m a toddler, a baby in the sewing world. The hardest thing I’ve sewed so far is a pair of shorts that we will be donating to some kids.

Do you have a favourite fabric to sew with?

TP: So far because I’m a beginner I would only sew with cotton and cotton blends. So cotton is probably best right now.

If you could sew part of your athletics uniform, which part would you sew and why?

TP: We don’t wear too many clothes when we compete, but since I’ve sewed quite a lot of shorts I’d have to say that.

If you could pick one athlete other than yourself who you would trust to sew your track uniform, who would it be and why?

TP: Probably my sister (Cindy). She knows how to sew, and she would give me a uniform that would be very flattering.

Steve Landells for the IAAF