Nearly a decade after winning a Gold Medal in track and field at the 2008 Olympic Games, Sanya Richards-Ross has confirmed a stunning piece of news:
She got an abortion the day before taking off for Beijing that summer.
Richards-Ross writes in detail about this decision in her new memoir, "Chasing Grace: What The Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life."
At the time, Richards-Ross was engaged to New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross, with two planning to get married in 2010.
However, the pregnancy was unexpected and the timing made it all the more difficult, considering how hard she had trained for the Olympics during the previous several months.
Heck, the previous number of years, really.
"The culmination of a lifetime of work was right before me," the sprinter writers in the book, adding:
"In that moment, it seemed like no choice at all. The debate of when life begins swirled through my head, and the veil of a child out of wedlock at the prime of my career seemed unbearable.
"What would my sponsors, my family, my church, and my fans think of me?"
Ross was unable to be by his wife's side during the abortion.
The couple discussed their plans over the phone and didn't even debate what to do for very long because time was a factor.
"Over the phone, we didn't go into details," the world champion writes, remembering her conversation with Ross about having the procedure.
"[It was] as if not saying it would alleviate some of the guilt and the shame."
So Richards-Ross made the choice, got the abortion and flew to China a day later.
However, she says the choice "broke" her and this is why:
"Abortion would now forever be a part of my life," she described. "A scarlet letter I never thought I'd wear. I was a champion - and not just an ordinary one, but a world-class, record-breaking champion.
"From the heights of that reality I fell into a depth of despair."
Despite having all these thoughts swirling around in her head, Richards-Ross ultimately took home the Gold Medal with her team in the 4 x 400 meters relay.
She also won the bronze in the 300 meter race, the one she had thought she could win outright.
The athlete described herself after placing third as "broken, physically and emotionally."
Richards-Ross was crowned World Champion in the 400 meters in 2009, although she says it took a long time for her and her now-husband to be on the same page.
There was anger, guilt and resentment on both sides.
But now the sprinter is pregnant... and the couple is in a very good place.
"Many parts of our lives have felt like a fairy tale, but this is our biggest blessing yet," they told People Magazine, concluding:
"We are so excited to start a family and can't wait to begin this new adventure!"
We admire Richards-Ross for sharing this story with the public and we wish her the best with her pregnancy.