Thurmond has been among the top, and most consistent, American throwers for the last 10 years. In 2011, Thurmond matched her performance of two years ago and placed second at USA Outdoor Championships to qualify for her fifth World Outdoor team. Thurmond returned to the top of the podium after having a child in spring of 2007, winning her fourth career national title and second Olympic Trials crown to make her third Olympic Team. She easily won her third national title at the 2006 AT&T USA Outdoor Championships which qualified her for the IAAF World Cup where she was elected team captain.
Thurmond made her second Olympic Team in 2004 by winning her second national title at the Olympic Trials. She posted the top 10 marks during the 2004 season in the U.S. by a woman. In addition to winning her first U.S. discus title in 2003, Thurmond proved her dominance over other U.S. women’s discus throwers by posting nine of the top 11 throws by Americans that season. Not bad for someone who embarked on her track career on a lost bet. She had wanted to play softball in high school, but her physical education teacher wanted her to go out for track. They made a bet that if he could beat her in one-on-one basketball, she would give up softball. He won, and she kept her part of the bargain. She went on to win three state discus titles. Coach Ken Shannon says that Thurmond can be the first American to throw 70 meters (229-8). She says that after a breakthrough 1996 campaign put her on the Olympic team, she pressed too hard in 1997. She was a member of the Project 30 Task Force and is a member of USATF’s Board of Directors. An advocate for women’s fitness and health, Thurmond placed sixth at the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships only five weeks after giving birth to her son, Theo.