Top-ranked American long jumper training for next Olympics in Gainesville

The University of Alabama graduate has made Gainesville her home to prepare for Paris 2024
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 12:21 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Quanesha Burks made her Olympics debut in Tokyo 2020.

Now, she has come to the University of Florida to prepare for Paris 2024.

Burks is a graduate of the University of Alabama, but chose to move to Gainesville to train with UF’s track coach, Mike Holloway, who is also the head coach of the USA track team and has won 12 National Championships in his time at Florida.

“I love being here in Gainesville,” said Burks. “I thought it would be a big adjustment but being around greats--I train with a lot of Olympians—just to be around like-minded people, we set the tone in what we want to do at practice, we hold each other accountable, it’s a family.

“I know I may have graduated from the University of Alabama, but being here, I feel like they’ve opened their arms to me as a family and we’re all achieving our goals and we hold each other accountable.”

Burks spoke about what drew her to the University of Florida to prepare for the next Olympics.

“Look at the rings,” said Burks. “Look at all the success. It’s like, when you wanna be the best you have to beat the best, so you might as well train with the best and have the mindset of the best. Just to see what Coach Holloway has done, what this entire program [has done], it’s noticed. Everyone knows about the Gators, Gator track and field is big.”

Burks just missed out on the Olympic final in Tokyo, and says she is out to prove she is one of the best in the world in Paris 2024.

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