In the world of athletics, where every stride can signify either a huge leap forward or a daunting setback, Aleia Hobbs’ journey through the sport stands as a testament to both her persistence and success. The Louisiana native’s path to international recognition has been marked by injuries, setbacks and online negativity, a narrative far too familiar to many within the realm of athletics; yet, she keeps going. Through her story, you will learn that she is the epitome of a TRACKGIRL, showcasing our core values in all that she does. She has stayed RESILIENT when faced with adversity and has shown nothing but POISE when competing on the world stage, trusting her VISION and goals now that we have just entered an Olympic year.
TRACKGIRLZ lives by our seven core values that truly define what it means to be a TrackGirl: Bold, Resilient, Authenticity, Vision, Excellence, Unity and Poise. Together they stand for BRAVE UP! This is our call for girls to stand up for themselves, their beliefs and others.
Let’s learn a bit more about the incredible Aleia Hobbs.
Aleia Hobbs didn’t start her journey with a traditional introduction to track. Her speed was initially unveiled while running away from a dog at the age of eight; however, it was that moment that sparked a trajectory that would guide her life. It was then that her family and friends encouraged her to embrace her natural speed and the rest is herstory.
Her collegiate years solidified her dominance on the track. While representing Louisiana State University, Hobbs made history as the first collegian to clinch both the U.S. 100m title and the NCAA 100m title in 2018, a year in which she also won the NCAA 60m with a then collegiate record time of 7.07 seconds and the 4x100m relay. Her talent was indisputable as she consistently clocked under 11 seconds in multiple 100m races, including a remarkable 10.91 seconds at the 2018 US Championships where she won – that is when she turned pro.
However, her journey to success in 2018 was not without its obstacles. It is what goes on behind that scenes, the struggles that the outside world may not be privy to that really shapes an athlete. Injuries, particularly to her knees, disrupted her momentum. She missed the 2016 Olympic Trials due to a left knee surgery and after that her right knee gave in and she had to undergo surgery again. Her issues with her knees influenced her decision to not run anything over 100m.
Flash forward, the start of her professional career saw glimmers of brilliance – two Diamond League podium finishes in 2019 and a gold medal at the World Relays. Her momentum was coming back. Yet, challenges persisted. A false start at 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100m semi finals saw individual hopes fall, even though she was still named to the USA relay pool.
In 2022 Hobbs was again back on track. She placed 6th in the 100m at the World Championships and the USA Women’s 4x100m won gold. Her momentum persisted in her stride and in 2023 she stormed to second on the world 60m all-time list with a time of 6.94 seconds, just 0.02 seconds shy of the world record. That being said she took 0.01 seconds off the North American indoor record set by Gail Devers in 1993.
While Hobbs’ journey has been challenged by obstacles on the track, it has also been challenged beyond the track. Online abuse targeting her appearance has unfortunately been a part of her experience. Yet, she’s learned to deflect the negativity, channelling it into motivation each time she steps out to race. Her resolve is unyielding, silencing doubters with her results.
On a more positive note, her motivation also comes from her son, who she and her partner adopted when he was just 11 months; being a parent has helped her rekindle the fire inside and she is stronger than ever with a big year ahead.As she sets her sights on the Paris 2024 Olympics, we can’t wait to see what she does next.