Torri Edwards (Women’s Sprints) - By winning the 100m silver medal and the 200m bronze medal at the 2003 World Outdoor Championships, Edwards established herself as one of the world’s finest women’s sprinters and a legitimate threat in both events at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens .
In 2000, she arrived at the Olympic Games as part of the 4x100m relay pool and ended up competing in three events – 100m, 200m and 4x100 relay – when Inger Miller withdrew due to injury. Edwards started sprinting when she joined her school team in junior high. She says she was just an average sprinter in high school.
Her best state meet finish was fourth in the 200m. A year later she won the Pac-10 titles in both the 100m and 200m, and she hasn’t looked back since.
Allyson Felix (Women’s Sprints) - Holds junior high and high school records Personal: The world’s newest young sprinting sensation, Felix has gone from being a national-caliber junior athlete to a junior record-breaker and World Championships competitor.
Her world record time of 22.11 in the 200m at the Grand Prix Banamex in Mexico City on May 3, 2003 , was rejected by the IAAF because the meet did not conduct drug testing. However, Felix’s mark was faster than every winning time in the Olympic Games since 1976.
She didn’t start running track until her freshman year in high school, when her nickname was “Chicken Legs” despite her ability to leg-press 700 pounds and dead lift 245 pounds. She has appeared in Sports Illustrated and USA Today, and was featured in an extensive profile by CNN.
Felix planned to attend the University of Southern California with her brother but forgoing her NCAA eligibility, she turned professional in August 2003.
Marion Jones (Women’s 100 meters, 200 meters and Long Jump) - Returning to competition after giving birth to her first child in June 2003, Jones is following a 2002 performance that earned her $150,000 for topping the overall IAAF Grand Prix point standings as she went undefeated for the season. She won 42 consecutive finals in the 100m, spanning from 1998 to 2001.
Jones’ inspiration for beginning track was watching the late Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1984 Olympic Games. She began the sport in high school and never lost a competition after her freshman year. A University of North Carolina graduate, Jones also played basketball, helping the Tar Heels to the NCAA title during her freshman year.
Some of her many appearances have included providing sideline reports for NBC’s WNBA coverage and color commentary for CBS’ NCAA Women’s College Basketball. Jones has been featured on the covers of Ebony and Vogue magazines, and she holds dual nationality with Belize , her mother’s native home.
Jen Toomey ( Women’s 800 meters) - The 2004 Indoor season has made Toomey an international star and an international threat. When her previous coach moved to California , she took on Tom McDermott as her mentor. The results of more mileage and more intense training paid off as she became the only athlete ever to win the middle-distance double at the U.S. Indoor Championships.
A state champion diver in high school, Toomey ran track briefly as a freshman but gave up the sport because she disliked running the 400m. Ten years later, she bet a co-worker that she would run the Boston Marathon. She met her husband at a running club and they were married in 1998.
A Tufts University graduate, Toomey worked for an Internet company until 2000. She and Michael had an agreement that if she broke 2:02 she could take time off from work to focus on training.
Stacy Dragila (Women’s Pole Vault) - Once a world record holder, the Russians stripped that title from her in both the indoor and outdoor events. To take her vaulting to the next level, Dragila moved from her home in Idaho to Phoenix , Ariz. , to train with her new coach, Greg Hull, and is ready to face international competition, defending her gold medal in Athens .
Originally a heptathlete, she takes her status as a female athlete role model seriously, speaking at local schools about her sport. She was formerly an assistant coach at Idaho State University and would like to compete in decathlon someday.
Married to husband Brett, Dragila has a street named after her on the ISU campus, and she has won the Jesse Owens Award as top female track & field athlete twice in her career. She currently resides in Phoenix .
Gail Devers (Women's 100m Hurdles) - One of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, Devers has won the Olympic gold medal in the 100m dash twice. Although Devers has three World Championships golds in the 100m hurdles, she says that fast times are more important to her than titles. She definitely has her share of quick races, including her American record (12.33) run at the 2000 Olympic Trials.
Her accomplishments off the track are as impressive as those on the track. A survivor of Graves disease who nearly had her feet amputated, Devers runs the Gail Devers Foundation, which raises money around the country for charities. She got her start in track & field in the 800m in high school.
The daughter of a Baptist minister, she now coaches herself and trains with her Pomeranian, Kaleb. Devers also owns Gail Force Inc.
Information provided by USOC Press Box