In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, former UFC and current Invicta-Fighting-Championships/201378119954903" target="_blank">Invicta ring card girl Natasha Wicks reveals she has dealt with years of injuries after a college accident knocked her tailbone out of alignment, and after a six-year break, is now training with the hopes of landing a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, to run in the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in 2016.
"I still stay pretty involved in the MMA industry, and I’m actually ring girl-ing again now for the new, biggest, all-women’s MMA organization -- Invicta Fighting Championships -- so I still do it, I still model, I still do all that stuff, but my running has become my main focus, my main passion.
“I never stopped dreaming about it. When I was in high school and college, I wanted to compete in the Olympics. ... My goals are to compete on a national and world level in the 5K, 10K and half-marathon and dominate the Olympic trials and then place in the Top Three at the Olympics."
Robin Leach: When do you know if you’ve qualified for the Olympics, and what do you have to do to qualify?
Natasha Wicks: You have to be running. First of all, you submit your time that qualifies you for the Olympic trials, and you don’t want to lie about that because you will be thrown out of the water if you are not at that level. Everyone is asking why aren’t you doing it this year. Because I know I’m not ready, I know I’m not running that time or even close to that time at this point, because I have maintained my running, and I have maintained a high level of fitness, but I haven’t raced as hardcore as I have in the past. It really is about just that, a running time competing at a level that is in the Olympics. I have to finish in the Top Three to qualify.
RL: What is the record time for a 10K in the Olympics?
NW: For a woman, it’s 30:17; the world record is 29:31. Those times were run on a track, which is a flat course, and I’ve never actually run a 10K on a track except for when I was back in college, and that was when I was injured and blocked it out of my mind. But on a rugged, cross-country course with hills, I ran a 36:15. It sounds like a huge difference, but take in the facts that there are hills and I wasn’t in the best shape that I know I could be. I was just in good shape, but not the best shape.
RL: So is everybody telling you that you’ve got the right stuff to do this?
NW: Everyone is encouraging, and everyone is, like, wow, that is awesome, go for your goals. I don’t know how many of those people believe that I can do it, but it really doesn’t matter if other people think I can do it. It’s more of I know I want to try, and it is my passion. I just love to run, so what better thing to do than to try for the Olympics.
My sisters could never run because they’ve always had knee problems, and even with all the pounding and the miles that I have put in, I’ve never had them. There’s been no reoccurrence of the injuries to the tailbone. I see a chiropractor twice a week. I have people checking and making sure everything is aligned.
Read entire interview...
Lest anyone doubt Wick's chances at Olympic glory, consider that she has proven her mettle in a variety of sports. These include:
Muay Thai, the science of eight limbs, at least
Here Wicks cuts weight for a fight
This image has nothing to do with sports, and is here solely for gratutious reasons
Perhaps most astonishingly, Wicks has accomplished this with only one arm
In short, Natasha Wicks can aim for whatever she wants to, and right now, it is the Olympic Games. She makes her Invicta debut in Kansas City on April 28 as the ring girl of a new, all-female fighting organization.