“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been running,” says Olympic hurdler, Tiffany Porter. “Back when I was 6 years old, I raced all the boys in the street and beat them.”
Fast-forward a few years to middle school: Tiffany becomes involved in organized track and field, running with 8th graders while she was in 6th. Talk about being ahead of the curve!
It wasn’t until high school that Tiffany—a sprinter at the time—happened upon hurdles. “My coach was teaching the hurdlers some stuff and I went and jumped over them,” she says. She nailed it, of course. “That was a Monday or Tuesday and by the weekend, my coach had me running hurdles at the track meet.”
At the 2012 London Olympics, Tiffany competed in the 100-meter hurdles, representing Great Britain. Despite an injury, she advanced to the semi-finals.
So what’s up next? A graduate from the University of Michigan with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Tiffany is taking on a role in pharmacy at Target. Below, she tells all, from competing at the games to what the future holds.
What did your training schedule look like?
Tiffany Porter: Being that I was a student pharmacist, my life revolved around rotations and class. Last year, I would go to rotation from 9 to 2 and practice from 2:30 to 6. Then I would go home, have dinner, and do it all over again.
What was going through your head during your first race?
TP: Usually before meets, I’m calm, confident and remind myself that I’ve done this a million times. The Olympics were different because I was injured. That messed with my psyche, confidence and body. I lost three weeks of very imperative training, so I was nervous. But you live and learn. This was just motivation for the future for me.
How would you define the overall Olympics experience?
TP: What was most special was that my husband also qualified for the Olympics in the 110-hurdle. My husband—my best friend—was there with me every single step along the way. When I was sad, he was there to comfort me; when I was happy, he was there to celebrate. Also, seeing all of the different sports and nations coming together for the heart of sport—that was really special.
Was there someone who kept you calm through it all?
TP: Team Porter is what we called it. It consists of my husband, my family—their prayers—our doctors, our coaches. I was really grateful for all of that.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
TP: Just continuing to work hard, getting faster, improving my technique and taking preventive measures to avoid injury in the future.
What do you hope for in the next Olympics?
TP: To bring home a medal! Even before the next Olympics, there are two world championships. I’m going to use each one as a milestone to prepare for the next Olympics.
How do you keep yourself motivated to train?
TP: The fact that I know I have so much more to give. I know I haven’t touched my potential. That and I really enjoy it. It has been my life since I was 6 years old. I can’t imagine my life without track.
When did you become interested in pharmacy?
TP: The same way it has always been my dream to go to the Olympics, it has also always been my dream to be in the healthcare field. I have always been really passionate about helping people. I loved science in middle and high school and in the natural progression of figuring out what I wanted to do, pharmacy was the best fit for me
How was returning to the U.S. to join the Target team?
TP: I start with Target on Sept. 10, so I’ve been studying for my boards. It has been great to take a break from track and focus on the other aspects of my life, which are equally important, and that’s pharmacy. I’m looking forward to starting with Target.
What are you most excited for about working with Target?
TP: Target is such a great company. My personal beliefs are in line with the company’s values. We share the belief in delivering the best in patient care, so I’m really excited to serving Target guests.