Tia Brooks of Kentwood, Michigan, will be representing the United States in shot put at the 2012 Olympics in London. On a scholarship at Oklahoma, she won the indoor and outdoor championships this past year at the NCAA level.
But before breaking state records in high school, she had to be convinced that throwing was right for her, via 24 Hours News 8:
"I didn't really want to throw the shot put," Brooks told 24 Hour News 8. "I didn't want to be the stereotypical thrower...the big girl who didn't run and wasn't athletic."
John Mackinen, who coached her on how to throw the shot, saw her potential. "Stubborn is probably a really good word to use," he said. "She wanted to run, and she could run. But she could really throw."
Eventually Brooks relented and the medals in her family's home are proof she made the right choice. "She was putting her best foot forward and was breaking records left and right," her mother said.
Brooks' last throw at Olympic trials in June earned her a spot on the national team. She'll compete in the women's shot put competition in London, starting on August 6.
For more on the 2012 London Olympics, check out SB Nation's dedicated hub to the Summer Games.