The remarkable longevity of Dawn Harper-Nelson's hurdle career now has a deadline.
The two-time Olympic medalist announced her intent to retire at the end of the 2018 season in an interview with Reuters yesterday.
"Since I was a child, there were always three things I wanted: to be an Olympic gold medalist, a wife, and a mom,” the 33-year-old told Reuters. "Right now, I am two for three, and I’m feeling the urge to be someone’s mom."
Harper-Nelson rose to international prominence when she qualified for her first Olympic Games in 2008 and won gold in the 100m hurdles. She earned her second global medal, bronze, at the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu. The next year, in London at the 2012 Olympic Games, she set a PR of 12.37 to secure silver.
Most recently, Harper-Nelson turned heads at the 2017 IAAF World Outdoor Championships with her runner-up finish in the 100m hurdles behind Australia's Sally Pearson and ahead of fourth-placer Keni Harrison, who broke the world record in the event earlier that season.
Although she doesn't own the fastest PR out of the U.S.'s formidable lineup of hurdle stars from the past 10 years, Harper-Nelson's consistency and ability to rise to the occasion has earned her more Olympic medals than her American contemporaries.
Harper-Nelson opened her 2018 outdoor season this past weekend with a 12.93 at the Drake Relays to place fifth, but she has her sights set on loftier goals.
“I want to run a personal best—it’s 12.37 now—and win the Diamond League final,” she told Reuters.
Her quest begins in Doha, Qatar, this Friday at the first outdoor IAAF Diamond League Meeting of the year.