SI Vault
 
Over Life's Hurdles
Tim Layden
February 12, 2007
After a hiatus to have a baby and celebrate her 40th birthday, Gail Devers returns in style
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 12, 2007

Over Life's Hurdles

After a hiatus to have a baby and celebrate her 40th birthday, Gail Devers returns in style

View CoverRead All Articles

IT SEEMS that Gail Devers has found the secret to prolonging her stellar career: give birth, take two years off, turn 40. Simple. Last Friday night Devers, winner of three Olympic gold medals, burst back into the track spotlight with an unexpected victory in the 60-meter hurdles at the 100th Millrose Games. "People thought I went away," said Devers after the race. "I always knew I could come back."

Devers had scarcely been seen on the international stage since failing to finish her heat of the 100-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympics. On June 20, 2005, Devers gave birth to daughter Karsen and took six months off. She returned for a cameo at the '06 Millrose Games but ran a plodding 8.13. Her time of 7.86 seconds at this year's Millrose was the best in the world in the current indoor season until Sweden's Susanna Kallur ran 7.85 one day later.

Devers had always been plagued by injuries. Reporters asking, "How are you?" could expect a response that sounded like dialogue from ER. Now she says she is healthy. "The best healing," she says, "is time off." She trains in Atlanta with Danielle Carruthers, 27, whom Devers also coaches. Devers won't commit to a long-term schedule, but every race is an audition. She is running without a major apparel or shoe sponsor and looking to make a deal that would enable her to brand her own logo on products.

1