Back from the London games with three medals in tow, including a solid gold for the Women’s 4x100-meter relay, runner and Torrance-native Carmelita Jeter shows no sign of letting up.
Photographed by James Acomb
Welcome home, Carmelita, and congratulations on your medals. How does it feel to be back in the South Bay after the games?
It feels really good to be back home, around my family and friends and my cats. I missed them a lot. I’m able to eat all my favorite foods and pamper myself.
When you set out for London, what was going through your mind? Did you have any expectations leading into your events?
So much was going through my mind. The most important thing was: I had dreamed of being at the Olympics, and now I’m finally on my way. I did not want to let my fans or the USA down. I wanted everyone to scream and be very proud of me.
So how does a girl from the South Bay end up being an Olympic track star?
Yes, I am from the South Bay, but I had to work very hard to get to where I am. It started at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, where I first started running track. I worked hard and received a scholarship to Cal State Dominguez Hills. After college, I wasn’t ready to go pro, so I worked at Bishop and trained early in the morning. My journey to the Olympics was not easy, but I finally made it to 2012 London.
You took home three medals in all, including a bronze and silver in individual events and the gold for the relay. How does competing on the same team with three other talented women differ from competing solo in individual events?
The relay is different, because there are three other woman that depend on you. It’s bigger than just one person. We all have to run well, and we must have great chemistry in order to get that stick around. We are all out there for one purpose, and that is to represent the USA.
What’s the first thing you did in the South Bay after coming home from London?
The first thing I did when I got home was spend a spa day at Burke Williams. I was in need of pampering.
What’s in store for you in the next few years, both personally and professionally? Is Rio 2016 in the cards?
The future holds for me 2013 Worlds in Moscow, 2014 Indoors, 2015 Worlds in London, then 2016 Olympics in Rio. I still have many years left in these legs. Personally, my life really revolves around track and field. I’m married to my sport for now.