Hometown Hero: Gulfport Native and Olympic Gold Medalist Brittney Reese

When it comes to inspiration, there’s at least one name that comes to mind: Gulfport native Brittney Reese.

After achieving incredible success in her track and field career, Reese has become an idol to young boys and girls looking to strive for greatness.

That is why she has been chosen as our very first Hometown Hero.

We all strive for greatness and for Brittney Reese, she achieved more than most people can dream of. Born and raised in Gulfport, Reese attended Gulfport High in hopes to grow her basketball career. It was only until she was introduced to the world of track and field did she truly begin her path to greatness. “The transition started from when I just started being really great at what I was doing at the time, long jumping, high jumping… I was a sprinter also; and I think my love for it came when I got to college and went to Ole Miss and I could finally realize my full potential in the event and realized that track and field was the sport for me.”

Reese has placed first in long jump at seven different world athletic championships. She has two Olympic silver medals and an Olympic gold medal from 2012 to top it off. “When I actually finally won, I was more relieved… more relaxed and just excited to be in that situation; to finally be in that position to finally put that flag over my back and be able to say I represent the United States in the right way.”

Since retiring, Reese started her coaching career and returned home this year to coach the Gulfport High School women’s track and field team, cross country team and the indoor track and field team. She says she enjoys leading the students who are in the same spot she was in all those years ago. Gulfport High Track and Field Captain Lania McDonald said, “I was like, ‘out of all people!?’ I was like, ‘she is coming to our school!’ So, I was like very shocked and I was super excited because I was like this is new. It was very cool to know that she would be coming here and helping us.”

Today, Reese is not only an inspiration to her team, but to people all across the world by letting them know that dreams are never out of reach if you put the work in. Gulfport High Boys Track and Field Captain Ashton Neely said, “She’s such an inspiration. It’s fun having her here because like when we see her, we see her as our coach; but when other people see her, they see her like, ‘oh my god that’s Brittney Reese!'”

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