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Dawn Harper is an athlete competing in Track & Field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

After making the 2008 Olympic Team by seven-thousandths of a second, Dawn Harper shocked the world by winning gold in the 100m hurdles. Injuries have slowed her since, but she is back and healthy in 2012.

Harper qualified for her second Olympic team when she won the 100m hurdles at the U.S.Olympic Trials, running 12.73 into a headwind.

After a lengthy rehabilitation from her second knee surgery, Harper returned to hurdling in April of 2011. On just four months of training and racing, she managed to win a bronze medal at the World Championships in Daegu in a personal-best 12.47. She finished behind fellow American Danielle Carruthers, who also clocked 12.47, and Australia's Sally Pearson, whose winning time of 12.28 was the fastest anyone has run since 1992.

In 2009, Harper was unable to build upon her Olympic victory. She won Nationals but finished just seventh at the World Championships in Berlin. The following year, she ran just one race, the Diamond League opener in Doha, before needing to undergo a second arthroscopic surgery on her right knee. The cartilage damage was so great that a return to racing was no guarantee.

Harper opened the Olympics by finishing second in her heat in 12.73 seconds. She advanced to the final with another second-place finish in the semifinals, this time in 12.66. Although she remained a decided underdog to teammate Lolo Jones, when Jones clipped the ninth hurdle and lost her lead and momentum, Harper surged across the finish line for a stunning victory in 12.54.

After losing out in her bid to defend her Olympic gold medal, Joanna Hayes surprisingly appeared at the post-race press conference and played the role of a reporter. Hayes picked up a microphone and asked Harper, Lolo Jones and Damu Cherry, "Do the three of you think you can go 1-2-3 at Olympics?" After each of them replied that they believed they could, Hayes said, "That's all I needed to hear," and wished them good luck before leaving.

Harper qualified for Beijing by placing third in the 100m with a time of 12.62 at Olympic Trials in Eugene. She crossed just .007 seconds in front of Nichole Denby for the final spot in the event. "I honestly did not know if I finished third or not," Harper said. "I was able to get out of the (starting) blocks well, but then I hit the seventh and eighth hurdles and I saw my dream maybe ending. I just leaned at the finish line as far as I could." Afterward, Harper nicknamed herself "The 007 Girl."

For the better part of the winter of 2008, Harper juggled three jobs, as an academic advisor, coach and high school student mentor, with her training. "Often I was getting home at nine at night," she said. And when she did, it wasn't like she could get to sleep easily. She and her husband were living in a one-bedroom apartment at the Theta Xi fraternity house near UCLA, where raucous student parties were the norm. When Harper got to the Olympic Trials, she needed to borrow spikes from former world champion Michelle Perry, a training partner whom she was also trying to beat.

On Feb. 29, 2008, just four months before the Olympic Trials, Harper underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. It was a detail she kept quiet until after the Games. "Nobody really understood my story," she said. "I only told my coach, husband and family, most people didn't know I had a knee surgery, not even my training partners. I am still blown away that I was able to come back from it."

During her time at UCLA, where she majored in psychology, Harper won the 100m hurdles at the U.S. Junior Championships and at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships. She earned All-America honors twice at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships after coming eighth in the 100m hurdles and taking second with the 4x100m relay.

Harper is coached by Bob Kersee, the husband and former coach of six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Joyner-Kersee, who, like Harper, hails from East St. Louis, went to Beijing to root on Harper.

Harper is the daughter of Henry and Linda Harper and has two sisters, Keya and Shivani, and one brother, Bryton. She is married to Craig Everhart.


How tall is Dawn Harper? How old is Dawn Harper? Where does Dawn Harper live? Find out here.

Age: 32 years old
Birthday: May 13, 1984
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 134 lbs.
Birthplace: East St. Louis, IL
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Husband: Craig Everhart

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