DeeDee Trotter (Getty Images)
Aug. 15, 2008
BEIJING -- Former Tennessee Lady Vol track & field standout Dee Dee Trotter will make her second career Olympic appearance Saturday, as the 2004 U.S. relay gold medalist competes in the first round of the 400-meter dash in the 2008 Olympiad at the Bird's Nest at 12:10 p.m. local time (12:10 a.m. Sunday, Eastern Time).
Trotter enters the competition with a season-best clocking of 50.88 seconds, which she recorded in taking third at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., back on July 3. She joins U.S. teammates Sanya Richards and Mary Wineberg in what will hopefully be a three-round competition for the American women. Trotter, Richards and Wineberg also will be in the pool of potential components for America's 4x400m relay.
If the U.S. standouts advance in the 400m, the semifinals will be at 9 p.m. on Aug. 17 (9 a.m. ET, Aug. 18), while the finals are slated for 10:10 p.m. on Aug. 19 (10:10 a.m. ET, Aug. 20). The relay schedule includes the semifinals at 7:40 p.m. on Aug. 22 (7:40 a.m. ET, Aug. 23) and 8:40 p.m. ET on Aug. 23 (8:40 a.m., ET Aug. 24).
Back in 2004, at the end of her junior season at UT, Trotter started her incredible ascent to international stardom by also finishing third at the U.S. Trials. She would go on to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and chart an impressive fifth-place finish in the 400m in a personal-best and Lady Vol-record time of 50.00 and then run a leg on the U.S. 4x400m relay team that struck gold. Since then, she has lowered her career best to 49.64.
Trotter, who joins Benita Fitzgerald (100m hurdles, 1984) as the only Lady Vols to win Olympic gold medals in track & field, has overcome adversity to make the Games this season. After chipping a bone in her left knee in a freak accident a couple of months ago, she has had to fight through pain and swelling and severely alter her training in order to compete. She is expected to have surgery after her season is complete.