Feature27 Jun 2024

Tara Davis-Woodhall: authenticity


Tara Davis-Woodhall (© Getty Images)

World indoor long jump champion Tara Davis-Woodhall is renowned for her infectious smile and positive energy. 

Welcoming World Athletics Inside Track to her home and training session, the US athlete talks about the importance of recognising that not every day is perfect and shares her ambitions for Paris 2024 with her husband, Paralympian Hunter Woodhall.

“I’ve always been thinking about the Olympics, since I could even think about being a professional athlete. The Olympics is everything to me,” says Davis-Woodhall, who placed sixth on her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

“I feel like that first Olympics was: ‘oh my gosh, I’m an Olympian’. Now it’s about getting a gold medal at the Olympics. I feel like that is a whole other dream that I am dreaming.

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“I think it’s important to show everything because it’s like a reality check. People think that we’re these superstars and the powerful athletes and power couple, but we are two humans, at the end of the day. I don’t show up 110% every single day with the mind that I’m going to win the Olympics or with the attitude and determination that I am the best. People have their bad days and I think sharing the good, the bad and the ugly is the most perfect thing to do.

We get wrapped up in just trying to show the best of the best, and I love showing that I’m not okay all the time. I love showing that relationships are crazy. I enjoy doing that because I know there is someone out there that can relate, and I feel like when I was younger there was a lot that I couldn’t relate to about people. Just showing my authentic self, whatever that comes up as, is a movement in itself. I love showing the authenticity of the Woodhalls.

“If there is a young girl out there and you are following me, don’t let someone else’s thought and opinion about you dictate your life. I feel like a lot of us are looking at other people’s lives and wishing that they could be that person, but you are your own person for a reason – yes you can take away inspiration from people but be your own self. Don’t ever give up on yourself. Live your life to the fullest and have fun.”

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