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T'erea Brown says she has tunnel vision and is focused on her goals to get gold in the Olympics. She talks to NBC 6.
T’Erea Brown has a plan.
“I have three long-term goals. Make the Olympic team, get a gold medal, break a world record,” she said.
And she seems to be right on schedule.
“I feel like this is the best I have ever felt before,” Brown told NBC 6.
The University of Miami graduate has a lot to feel good about. After a third place finish in the 400 meter hurdles at the U.S. Track and Field trials last month, Brown is heading to her first Olympic Games.
A native of Virginia, Brown's journey started at the Cobb Stadium track in Coral Gables - where she followed up a U.S. championship in 2010 with an NCAA title in 2011.
Next up is London.
“Actually competing as an Olympian, it’s kind of surreal just thinking back to where I was far away from the actual goal. But now I’m just right here and it is really amazing,” Brown said.
Brown will make the trip to the 2012 Olympic Games with fellow Canes alum Lauryn Williams and her coach at UM, Amy Deem. Deem will serve as the head coach for the entire women's track team and again provide the support to keep brown focused.
“She helps me a lot. Sometimes I freak out a little bit and she will be like, ‘T’erea, I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear.’ Sometimes she has to baby me a little bit, but I know when the gun goes off, I’m fine,” Brown said.
“I think for T’erea, the talent is there,” Deem says proudly. “She’s ready to run big races. It’s just managing her emotions and having the maturity to stay calm.”
“Track to me is 99 percent mental. Everybody can go out there and they can be fit and be ready to run but if you’re not focused on your mental game, then you won’t make it regardless of how fast you are,” Deem said.
But make no mistake, Deem has also put in plenty of work with Brown on the physical side too.
“I changed my training up completely. I’ve focused on being more like an 800 runner. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into because when I tell you she pushed it, she pushed it, that’s what she actually did,” Brown says with a laugh.
And if Brown isn’t fast enough against the world's best next month, the 22-year-old hopes it will be a building block for the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in four years.
“Definitely. In 2016, I gotta be the gold medalist and gotta break the world record. After that, we’ll see,” Brown said.