‘Minion Blanket and Gummy Bears’- Pre-Race Ritual of USA’s Tokyo Olympics 2021 Bound Hurdler Sydney McLaughlin

Published 07/12/2021, 8:58 AM EDT
Jun 25, 2021; Eugene, OR, USA;Sydney McLaughlin wins women’s 400m hurdles heat in 54.07 for the top time during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics 2021, Sydney McLaughlin broke her compatriot, Dalilah Muhammad’s world record in 400m hurdles. She is still only 21 years old and is set to represent the USA at her second Olympics. Now the hurdler has a pre-race ritual that helps her succeed on the track.

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Her pre-race mantra is, ‘god’s got you’. With this, she jumps onto the track to take charge. Her feeling remains firm, and she believes, “understanding that I’m not always going to be able to control everything and just trusting that it’s going to work out for the best.”

Sydney McLaughlin wins women’s 400m hurdles heat in 54.07 for the top time during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Moreover, Sydney is a little superstitious as well. Wherever she goes for competitions, she carries her lucky blanket. The blanket is old, and she got it when she was 14, and that it has a lot of yellow minions on it. Some runners are conscious about their pre-race meal, but Sydney is not.

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When she goes to a competition, she goes with the motto of self-care. And hence before her race, she eats a lot of gummy bears. “The day before meets I always eat gummy bears. I don’t know if it’s just mental or if they actually help something. It’s just . . . I enjoy them.”

Sydney McLaughlin’s brilliant form ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2021

Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record with a timing of 51.90 at the US Olympic track and field trials. Current world champion and Olympics champion, Dalilah Muhammad held the record and in the trials, Sydney and Dalilah were the only ones to go under the 53-second mark.

“I will cherish this for the rest of my life. There’s no animosity or hard feelings. We have to have each other to have these world records,” McLaughlin had said on beating Dalilah’s record.

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With very little difference between Sydney and Dalilah on track, it will interesting to see who triumphs in Tokyo. Will Sydney McLaughlin win without any fuss or will there be a late twist?

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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