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Marion Jones, U.S. Track and Field, Olympian
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Despite being an extremely talented California high school sprint champion who declined a spot on the US Olympic Relay team as a high school student, Marion accepted a basketball scholarship and attended the University of North Carolina.
In her freshman year, Marion, a talented, quick point guard, led her Tar Heel team to the 1994 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.
In 1997, Marion graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Broadcast-Journalism. She immediately returned to the track and, as a member of the USA Track Team, won gold medals in the 100 Meters and 4x100 Meter Relay in the 1997 World Championships.
In 1998 she recorded personal bests of 10.65 in the 100 Meters and 21.62 in the 200 Meters. After defending her 100 Meter title at the 1999 World Championships, Marion went on to win five (5) medals, three (3) Gold and two (2) Bronze at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
In 2003, as a testament to the continued recognition of her talents as a top-quality basketball player, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury drafted Marion in the third-round of the WNBA Draft.
For years after her triumphs in the 2000 Olympic Games, allegations that Marion used performance-enhancing drugs persisted.
Finally, in October 2007, Marion admitted that despite never testing positive, she had lied to federal investigators and, had in fact used performance-enhancing drugs.
As a result of her confession, Marion was sentenced, and served 6-months in federal prison for lying to federal investigators. Marion voluntarily returned her five (5) Olympic medals, and publicly apologized to her family, friends, and fans all over the world.
Marion’s book, “On the Right Track” recently published by Simon & Schuster, demonstrates how Marion has committed her life to inspiring others who face life-challenging situations. As a public speaker and author, Marion candidly, articulately and passionately shares her life story.
Marion’s “Take A Break” message is a decision-making system encouraging people to stop, think, consider consequences, seek advice and counsel from trusted friends or family members and then make a rational, informed and thoughtful decision.
Marion instills motivation and inspiration through real issues that we all face: learning to grow through pain, making decisions that will help us far into the future, overcoming failure and discouragement, and applying practical principals that point the way to personal and spiritual breakthrough.
In 2010, Marion successfully completed her rookie year in the WNBA and returned to the Tulsa Shock for her second season in 2011. Currently, Marion and her husband, Obadele Thompson reside with their three children, 8-year-old Monty, 4 year-old Amir and 2 year-old Eva-Marie in Austin, Texas.