Olympic 400m bronze medallist and relay supremo DeeDee Trotter talks to SPIKES about moving to LA; her ambitions to be a coach AND an actress, and why the indoor season is like the rollercoaster of the track.

Can you talk a little bit about your 2013 season?

"Coming back from the 2012 season I was tired, and drained from putting my all into making the Olympic team. I had a couple of family members pass away in November-December 2012, and that combination of being physically and emotionally drained interrupted my 2013 season.

"I didn’t want to be inactive, so I took a different approach and targeted the 200m, and gave the 400m a rest. As a strategy it worked, because I improved my 200m PB from 23.04 to 22.85 [plus a wind-assisted 22.54 in the 200m heats at the US Championships].

"I think my 2013 year wasn’t all bad. I feel rejuvenated, and the strategy of taking time off without actually taking time off really worked."

And it has been all change since then, right?

"Yes, I’ve moved out to LA with my coach, Caryl Smith, from Orlando. Caryl was head coach at the University of Central Florida but she accepted a head coaching position at USC [University of Southern California].

"Being in the fourth quarter of my career, I’m not interested in making any dramatic coaching changes, so I came out here. I was born in California, so life has gone full circle. I’ve moved to California 50 percent because of my track career, and 50 percent to do some career building."


Face of the Games: DeeDee’s trademark warpaint

Career building, hey? What do you have planned?

"I have several different directions I would like to go in. I’m interested in motivational speaking and coaching. I’m a junior coach at USC and I know coaching is something I have a talent for, and I will definitely end up doing it. There are several things I’d like to do entertainment-wise: whether that is as a spokesperson, TV acting or something of that nature."

When can we watch you on the telly?

"I’d like to start tip-toeing in that direction. I definitely have a passion for it, and although I feel a little unprepared for it, I think I have a little bit of talent. I’m not the sort of person who likes to second guess myself, so I’m sure I’ll give it a go."

What would be your ideal TV role?

"I think I have the personality that could pull off a special guest role rather than a long presence over 13 seasons on the same show. I believe I have the personality that warrants a character appearance here and there!"

What is your favourite show?

Modern Family. That show is Funnn…ee. I love laughing, and that is one TV show that brings out true, fall out laughter. I would love to make an appearance on that show, even as a girlfriend or something.”

If you could pick someone from the world of track and field to act alongside, who would it be and why?

"Francena McCorory [DeeDee’s Olympic 4x400m gold medal-winning team-mate]. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting this lady [we have!], she is a personality like no other. She is very charismatic. Her bodily movements are very exaggerated and she is very exaggerated in everything she does.

"It is hilarious. We are able to bounce off each other. Everything is so comical. She would make an excellent co-star. Maybe we could organise the DeeDee and Franny show?"


The abtastic 4x400m Olympic champions (L-R): Francena McCorory, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross and DeeDee Trotter.

How has training been going this winter?

"I’m back training to be the best sprinter that I can be. The 200m is a great way to prepare for the 400m. I found when I only focus on one event something gets lost.

"It proved that my developmental speed was always underplayed, and I need to focus more on that to be the optimal 400m runner. I do believe I am a 48-second quarter miler [Trotter ran a 49.64 400m PB in 2007] – my speed will play a big part in that."

Are you doing anything different as part of your training?

"There is a new approach. We are taking time to train harder and rest harder. When you are an athlete of my age [31], the rest time will help my longevity. I know I still have some great races in me but I have to take care of my body in the best way that I can.

"I try and get an extra sleep in during the day, and as a veteran athlete I won’t train on a Saturday or Sunday. I’ve also taken out two sessions in a day as part of my regimen."

What are your goals for 2014?

"I’m definitely considering running indoors but that is not concrete yet. There are no worlds or Olympics this season, but I’m looking to have some solid performances and to hit some personal bests.

"I’d like to head indoors. It is a lot of fun. It is like track and field extreme. The X Games of the track, with all the bumping and falling. It is crazy. Like the rollercoaster of the track."