By: Rashida Ashley
After retiring from a successful career in track and field as a five-time Olympian, three of which were gold medals, and living through the complications of a debilitating disease, there’s still no stopping Gail Devers. Even retired, she finds herself healthier and more fit than ever! That’s all thanks to not only her dedication to stay active, but also her partnership with Thorne, a vitamin and supplement company that believes good health can always be made better.
With Devers’ substantial athletic success and Thorne’s long history of industry leadership, these two leaders have joined forces for the ‘Better Health’ campaign, to portray the importance of health and nutrition on individual performance.
After being diagnosed with Graves’ disease, Devers has made it her mission to take her health seriously and to encourage everyone to do the same. It’s no wonder that while discussing her partnership with Thorne, her smile seemed to light up the room. As Devers discusses her overall health, wellness and beauty routines, and interestingly enough the story behind her iconic naturally grown long nails, anyone can see why she fully supports a company that has made it their mission to help others work towards an extended health span.
You are a retired three-time Gold Medalist Olympic runner. How has your health/life changed post participating in the Olympics?
Basically, it has not changed. I do the same thing: I set my goals for things that I want to accomplish. Even when I was competing, I wrote out goals of what I wanted to do and went on to accomplish those.
You are teaming up with Thorne for the ‘Better Health’ campaign. Thorne leads the industry by helping others to improve their health span. What impact do you hope to make through your partnership with Thorne?
I want to let people know that even retired I still want to stay in the game. I’ve got young kids, so setting goals is not just for me. I prioritize my physical and emotional well-being. Thorne’s vitamins and supplements make a difference. I’m a skeptic and did not take supplements or vitamins when I competed, but when I found out about their extensive process in making their supplements, including their integration and filtration process, all of that gave me relief. So, I want to tell everybody about it because having better health is what we all want. We want everyone to be able to accomplish the goals and dreams they desire. We have one life to live, and we deserve that quality of life, and what Thorne has done for me and will do for everyone that uses their products is allow for you to accomplish your dreams at whatever stage you are in your life.
Which are your go-to products from Thorne for the most impact on your health?
My go to products from Thorne are the Biotin-8 supplements, L-Lysine, Meta-Balance, Vitamin C with Flavonoids, zinc, and NiaCel. That’s just your starter package, getting you where you want to be.
As a retired Olympic athlete, you are known for your many achievements. You are also known for your iconic long nails! What made you want to train and compete with nails so long?
Well, I used to bite my fingernails when I was little, and my dad made a bet with me to get me to stop biting them. I was determined to win. My dad was not going to have longer fingernails than I after the end of the month. So, once I figured out that I didn’t have to bite my nails, they started growing. I remember when I met my coach for the first time, who also used to coach Florence, he said, “Oh gosh not another one with long fingernails! I’m gonna tell you, if they become a problem you have to take them off,” and I was like “Let me tell you, my nails are real, they cannot be taken off.” Honestly, people would always ask me why they were so long. My answer to that was because it took two and a half, almost three years, for them to diagnose me with Graves’ disease. I fought for my life to get my health back to where it needed to be. So, I let my nails grow for three years at a time; the longer it took them to dry after putting on fingernail polish was a mental sign to me that I was okay. Those were my cues to let me know that hey, I’m here.
What does beauty mean to you and how has being an Olympic runner impacted your beauty routine and how has it transformed after competing?
When you look good you feel good, and when you feel good it gives you the confidence to perform well. That may be on the track or off the track or even on camera. I remember covering my mirrors because I couldn’t stand the person that was looking back at me before I got my diagnosis. At 54, now it’s like okay let’s take a picture, it’s all good.
This is because I’ve been taking care of myself and my body. I used to have skin issues and I recently started taking my supplements and I could honestly tell you that even with what I’m taking, thus far, I see a difference in my skin. It used to react to certain things that I’ve eaten, so I’ve tested it out to see if there are any changes and if my face breaks out when eating certain foods and it hasn’t! For that I thank Thorne!
So, for this partnership, I feel like I’m getting more out of it than they’re getting because a part of my life feels renewed. I’m getting a second chance at doing things that I never thought I’d be able to do, and I love it. When you feel good, and I do feel good, it allows me to perform well and that’s on the track and off the track; that’s going on a bike ride, or a run that may be a 5k or 6k or something like that. I feel as if I’m forever 21 and I am going to attribute that to Throne.