Posted on 2/16/2017 |Remarkable! People
As an Olympic gold medalist, Girls on the Run coach Mary Wineberg is able to show the girls she coaches just how far hard work and dedication can take them. Coach Mary shares why Girls on the Run has a special place in her heart and how her experience as an elite athlete influences her as a coach for Girls on the Run Cincinnati.
How old were you when you started running?
I was 12 years old when I started running track at Walnut Hills as a seventh grader. I tried it because it sounded like fun. I had always been built to run but just never recognized my talent. My high school coach thought that I would be good, but I had to see it for myself.
You competed in the 2008 Olympics in both the 400m and 4x400m race. How did it feel to reach such a momentous goal?
Awesome! I still relive the moments of being on the podium hearing my national anthem and seeing the gold raised up in the air. I had done it! I had accomplished my goal. I was emotional and so amazed that I had helped to make history.
How did you first get involved with Girls on the Run?
In 2007 I came across the great organization and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. The atmosphere of my first Girls on the Run event was truly inspiring and an oh-so-real moment. I could see myself in so many of the girls’ faces. I could see their dreams coming to reality. I knew that this organization would always be a part of my life in one way or another. Girls on the Run give girls the ability to dream, think big and set goals.
What connects you to the Girls on the Run mission and makes you want to volunteer with GOTR Cincinnati?
Everything about the organization allows me to want to be part of it. The mission sticks with me and allows me to know that more girls need to hear and know that they can do anything. I like how Girls on the Run inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. I had to learn through the years how to celebrate me and even if I'm different it is okay.
How did you bring your knowledge and experience as a top athlete to your Girls on the Run coaching?
As a coach last year and this year I was able to bring my game face, openness, thoughtfulness and guidance to positively impact many girls. As an Olympic gold medalist, I was able to show the girls what can happen if you’re dedicated, passionate and willing to put in the work.
Do you have any favorite memories from being associated with Girls on the Run Cincinnati?
My favorite memory is just being allowed to share my medal and wisdom on how running has impacted my life. It has allowed me to learn valuable life lessons and in the end has made me a better girl. GOTR is the best!