Shaunae Miller 'Really Surprised'
by Controversy Over 400-Meter
Shaunae Miller, the Bahamas Olympian who dove head-first into the finish line to win gold in Rio, said she is “really surprised” by the controversy that erupted after her dramatic win in the 400-meter race.
“It’s a part of the sport,” Miller, 22, said of track rules that allow runners to dive across the finish line.
“It’s been done so many times in the sport," she explained today on "Good Morning America."
Miller’s tumble across the finish line Monday gave her the gold ahead of U.S. runner Allyson Felix by .07 seconds. People took to the internet to question Miller’s head-first dive and whether she should really win the gold medal without crossing the line on her own two feet.
“I was really surprised by it but you know what, I don’t let things affect me,” Miller said of the backlash. “Things happen. It’s track and field.”
Miller’s head-first dive denied Felix a record fifth Olympic gold medal. Miller won silver while Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson won bronze.
Miller, the flag bearer in Rio for the Bahamas, said she started the race so fast that her legs simply gave out on her by the time she made it to the finish line.
“I got to the 300 [meters] first and when I got to about 40 more meters to go, my legs were so heavy from going around so fast,” she said. “I started to lose feelings in them and when I was headed towards the line, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to go.’”
“Afterwards I just felt nothing at all in my legs and I started falling,” said Miller, who said she fell once before in her career, during an SEC race while competing for the University of Georgia.
When asked whether she had accidentally collapsed into winning an Olympic gold medal, Miller said that would be one way to characterize her upset win.
“If that’s what they want to call it, then that's what happened” she said. “I just went out really hard and I just tried to hold on for dear life.”