There are moments when time stands still. Moments where you find yourself on the verge of greatness. Moments that stand the test of time. The Edge is a series of conversations where extraordinary people tell intimate stories of one moment that changed everything for them. A world record, an encounter, an epiphany, a life-changing decision. They relive their moments, minute by minute. How they overcame pressure, fear, pain and pushed themselves to the limit. To the edge.
Our first guest this season is the exceptional Sydney McLaughlin, hurdler, sprinter and world record holder. Sydney is the first woman in history to break the 52-second barrier in the 400m hurdles. And her record-breaking journey has only just begun.
In this episode, presented by your host Teo Van Den Broeke, Style Director of British GQ, we talk about overcoming obstacles and breaking records with Sydney McLaughlin – American hurdler and sprinter. Sydney broke her own record in the 400m hurdles last year. In one of the most thrilling track races ever, Sydney set a new world record in Tokyo, finishing at 51.46 seconds.
Attention: Only have a minute?
Here are a few snippets to put you on the starting line and get the adrenaline pumping. But don’t forget to subscribe to our Podcast so you can listen to the full, unfiltered episode later. The Edge is a series of conversations with extraordinary people operating at the edge of possibility. It’s about the thin line between taking part and tipping into victory; it’s about what gives us our edge and what we can do to go beyond it.
A moment of euphoria
[On her record-breaking race] It was truly just a sense of peace, and the gun went off, and I just remember not even feeling like I was in my own body. You know, I felt like I was somewhere else watching myself run. And it just felt so freeing and to a degree, kind of euphoric. The moment of euphoria that I felt during that race, I truly think was kind of exclusive to that race.
Breaking the barrier
[On the moment she broke the world record] The first thing in my head after I crossed the finish line was, “Oh my gosh.” I knew when I crossed the line that the record was broken. I was just actually running those last 50 meters like, “Please say 51, please say 51.” You know, just because it hadn’t been done.
Beyond the finish line
I think it’s been so cool to see just how much faster we’re all running because that barrier has been broken, and I think it’s [the record] going to continue to just go down.
Overcoming social media hurdles
I think social media has had such a negative effect on me in the past, when it comes to my performance, that I’ve learned to distance myself from it. The biggest thing that I’ve benefited from is community. My friends and my family and the people that are closest to me. And having opinions that are truly meaningful, because there’s going to be races that don’t go super well. And am I listening to random people on the Internet and what they’d say about me? Or the people that love me and have seen me through the ups and the downs and still know my worth and character, you know?
I would not change a thing
I looked at texts from maybe January or February of last year, and my coach had literally texted me, “I think you could run 51.90s or better”. So for that to be the exact time for that race was absolutely insane. And there’s always things that you can improve on, but I was just so happy with how that turned out. I would not change a thing.