Ross-Richards had previously announced that she planned to retire after the 2016 Olympics, and now she’ll get a head start. Just days after the trials, the five-time Olympic medalist announced she would be starting her career as a sports broadcaster, beginning at this summer’s Games in Rio.
This role will entail a new spin on an old dream for the 31-year-old. Growing up in Jamaica, Richards-Ross always dreamed of one day making it to the Olympic Games.
“I remember at a very young age watching the Olympics and wanting to be a part of something like that,” she tells PEOPLE.
After beginning running at age 7, Richards-Ross went on to compete at four Olympic Games, earning three gold medals in the 4×400 meters.
This year, Richards-Ross hoped to make her final Olympics appearance at the Rio Games in August, where she would be vying for an unprecedented fourth gold medal in the 4×400.
“This year, I’m really training from a place of love, hope and anticipation,” she told PEOPLE. “I really hope this will be my swan song, and I’ll be able to leave the sport on a really high note.”
After a hamstring injury kept her from finishing her heat, Richards-Ross’s career ended with a cheering crowd as she walked the homestretch.
How do you say goodbye? How do you walk away from the part of you that has brought you immeasurable joy. The last 24 years were exceedingly sweet because of the sport of track and field. I've lived because I poured my very heart and soul into this special sport. I've experienced the very best the sport had to offer and grown because of the toughest parts. Will I miss it…. YES! But the best parts of my sport live with me forever. The relationships, the memories, the support. Thank you ALL for loving me every step of the way. The heart and the mind were willing but the body just wasn't able! #SRRFinalLap
Before heading to the Trials, Richards-Ross shared her lifelong passion for the Games and her strict training regimen on PEOPLE’s List
To learn more about her journey, tune in to PEOPLE s List on Saturday (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.