MADE: As a child, what was your wildest dream and what practical steps did you take to get there?
AE: So, growing up, I come from a really athletic family. My mom ran track, my father was a swimmer – one of the first Black national champions – my brother played in the NFL for eight years for the Vikings, my uncle and cousin both played baseball, so sports have always been in my blood. And so, growing up I’ve always had aspirations to pursue sports. Olympic sports kind of drew me because of my mom and I always wanted to be like my mom. I always wanted to be a track star. I really grew to love Jackie Joyner growing up, that’s my all-time favorite athlete.
MADE: Wow. With all of the attachment to sports, did you know what it would take to be in the Olympics?
AE: When I say wanted to be in the Olympics I didn’t realize exactly what it took, but it was an aspiration and
goal of mine. Growing up my mom honestly just let my sister and I be kids. She didn’t force us into sports. We did everything from day camp to cheerleading and basketball…volleyball. We were campers – like kayaking and canoe- ing – anything you think of, we pretty much did it. So we were really active growing up, and I feel like they [today’s youth] get away from it nowadays. Everyone wants to chill, do stuff on the phone and technology. You kind of have to push them a little bit more nowadays. But when we were growing up, my mom didn’t want me to get burned out in anything and so she would make sure that every move I made was something that I wanted to do. I didn’t even start track until my freshman year in high school.