Secure Your Gold: Olympic gold medalist showing others what they can achieve

After retiring from track and field, Mary Wineberg became a teacher and authored two books.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 3:30 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Olympic Gold Medalist Mary Wineberg goes through life with unwavering perseverance as she continues to run down obstacles put in her path.

Wineberg has accomplished so much, from winning an Olympic gold medal in Beijing to writing two books and launching her own business.

Her accomplishments are more than many even dream about, and through it all, her biggest hurdle was believing she was good enough.

She had a staggered start in life after her birth mother walked out of her life when she was a baby.

“I was adopted, became a ward of the state of New York, probably at the age of two, ended up being taken in by my grandmother, who then brought me to Cincinnati and wanted me to have a new life,” Wineberg recalls.

While adjusting to her new life in a new city, she found her way onto the Walnut Kills track team, mainly seeking companionship.

“Coming into high school, I knew I wanted friends,” Wineberg explains. “I was the only child, and it’s like, what better than to go on a track team because you’re going to have like 40 or 50 kids.”

The fellowship and training transpired into a new dream that took her to the University of Cincinnati.

“Learning more about the sport, it excited me for college and being given that opportunity to have a scholarship to run, I realized, ‘Wow, I actually have a talent,’” says Wineberg.

While developing her talent in track and field, she studied to become a teacher.

Wineberg graduated in 2002 and set a new goal: train for the Olympics.

She says deep down she thought she didn’t think it would happen.

“I struggled with thinking I was good enough, believing in myself,” Wineberg says.

Six years after setting out on her Olympic goal, Wineberg found herself on the world stage, proving to herself and everyone she was more than average.

She ran the first leg for the U.S. women’s 4×400 meter relay team and helped the team secure a gold medal at the games.

“It was just an amazing feeling, not only to share that with my teammates but being able to bring that back to Cincinnati so that I can share with young people, just anyone to realize that see what hard work, you know, how it can pay off and how you can reach your dreams,” says Wineberg.

Winning a gold medal was just the start of Wineberg’s dreams.

After retiring from the sport, she became a teacher and authored two books: Unwavering Perseverance: An Olympic Gold Medalist Finds Peace; and a children’s book, I Didn’t Win.

“It’s a character-building book,” Wineberg explains. “So many young children, they say they don’t know how to deal with losing. I want them to know that losing is just that moment, and so, for me, my story of not making that first Olympic games to crying on the side of the road to picking myself up and declaring, ‘I was going to make it the next time.’”

She carries that same message through the business she created, Secure Your Gold, where she works as a motivational speaker. She teaches others the most important lesson she learned about herself and life.

“It’s not just about winning a gold medal, it’s about realizing that someone can go through downfalls, but they can also triumph at the end,” says Wineberg.

Wineberg says she stays busy now by giving back to the community through speaking engagements and mentoring children helping them achieve their goals.

Breaking Through Series

This story is part of a weekly segment called Breaking Through.

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