Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone opens up on the intricacies of handling teenage pressure as an athlete

2024 USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix
2024 USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone recently appeared on the USATF's 'Journey to Gold Zone' podcast, hosted by Eric Canard and Wallace Spearmon Jr. She opened up about how she navigated the world stage of the track and field realm as a teenager.

Mclaughlin-Levrone was the youngest track and field athlete to make her place on the US team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She was just 16 years old when she secured the third position in the 400m hurdles by recording a time of 54.15s at the United States trials. The last athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games before Mclaughlin-Levrone was Carol Lewis, who qualified in 1980.

When asked about her experience of being a teenager in the Olympics and how she tackled the intricacies of the same, the 400m hurdles champion said she handled things in the best way she could. She also credited her team, which helped her to handle all the pressure.

"I don't think you can be prepared for that. You know what I'm saying?" said McLaughlin-Levrone. "Like you are now 16, 17 years old on the world stage, all this expectation placed on you, and you're trying to accomplish your childhood dream all at once. I think I handled it the best way I could. I don't think it was the best way I should have handled it."

She added:

"But I think a lot of that was my support system and having people to help me navigate that because it's very easy to get sucked into all of this."

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone opens up about her plans for the Olympic gold double

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone dominated at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix in the 200m discipline after recording a time of 22.0s. In the post-race interview, the Olympian revealed that she will be running in the 400m hurdles discipline at the Paris Olympics 2024 and also shared her thoughts on achieving an Olympic double gold this year.

Sydney Mclaughlin-Levrone said there is a possibility of achieving the same in the future; however, she was focused on being healthy after returning from her knee injury.

"That's definitely a possibility in the future but just wanting to come back last year, stick to one event, and try to do the best I can, be healthy, which we are, and I'm very happy about," Mclaughlin-Levrone said."

Sydney Mclaughlin-Levrone will be next seen making her 400m hurdles debut in the Olympic year at the 2024 Edwin Moses Legends Meet, which will be held on May 31 at the HBCU Campus at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

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