Quanesha Burks is not the most popular name in American athletics by any means; neither does she enjoy the superstar status in the world of sports like quite a few of her counterparts. But, the journey of this 25-year-old from Alabama to the top is nothing sort of inspiring.
Born in the year 1995, Quanesha Burks is a long jumper who has represented the USA in various international competitions. Burks and her four younger siblings were raised by her grandparents in Alabama. The 25-year-old used to work in the McDonald's to support her family ever since she was 17-year-old.
Burks would start her day at 4:30 am by dropping her grandmother at a nursing home before taking her siblings to school and then attend her own classes and practice sessions. She would then head towards her shift at the McDonald's, wherein she used to earn $100 every two weeks.
"When I worked at McDonald's, I thought it was the best job ever. I was making $100 every two weeks. It's terrible, but I came to work every day happy, and I knew it was all part of my goal to go to college," Burks was quoted as saying by the Sports Illustrated.
Quanesha Burks took up sports with the sole aim of getting a full scholarship for college. She started off with basketball when a family friend brought her basketball shoes before switching to track and field after another friend helped her with spikes.
This decision worked wonders for Burks as she earned a scholarship and graduated with a total of 11 state titles, including a sweep in the 100m, long jump and triple jump in her senior year, and it was only after her graduation that she left her job at the McDonald's to turn a professional long jumper.
Though the past few years after turning professional have been a bit rocky for Burks, she qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a personal best jump of 6.96m during the US Trials last month.
Though this jump might not be enough to earn her a podium finish at the Tokyo Olympics, her journey to the Games against all the odds is truly inspiring.