Heartbreaks and near-misses have kept a former University of Miami star sprinter from a gold medal.
Lauryn Williams, the world's fastest woman in 2005, is hoping to get one more chance at redemption during the Olympic trials.
"Hopefully the third time is the charm going for gold,” she said. “I've had some ups and downs, but I am really looking forward to the ups again.”
Williams will be without her biggest fan for the first time. Her dad, David, died after a long battle with leukemia and kidney disease in 2008. He underwent dialysis while watching her previous trips to the Olympics.
Her father’s death was just part of the reason Williams took a year off in 2010.
"Success sometimes, it can be overwhelming," she said. "Skydiving, skiing, flag football, you name it. I pretty much did it in 2010. All really cool experiences and ways to get out and kind of explore."
But once she returned to the Coral Gables track she calls home, adjusting didn't come easy. Williams didn't make the world championship team in 2011 and suffered disappointment.
"You think because you've done it, you can do it again because you're focused, but honestly it doesn't quite work like that," she said.
Now she’s training at the University of Miami with her college coach, Amy Deem, and is optimistic again.
"I'm back to that place where there is nothing to lose, and not because I’m 20 years old again, but because now I understand and have experience that it's not the end of the road when you don't win and life does go on,” she said. "So I think that 2012 will be that much sweeter for me making this team because I've really experienced all the different aspects of it now."
“It’s been a rough couple of years for her,” Deem told NBC 6. “I’ve seen a lot of great things this year in practice. I’ve seen her doing things she hasn’t done in years, if at all, so I’m very excited about where she is. It’s just a matter of being able to do it when it really counts.”
Williams did not qualify in the 100-meter dash over the weekend, but will race in the 200 meters this week.