Track and Field Stars Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall on Embracing That 'It's OK to Be Different'

Track and field stars Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall will represent Lululemon as global ambassadors in an effort to involve diverse communities and further education on mental and physical health

Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis become lululemon ambassadors
Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall announce partnership with Lululemon. Photo: Jenna Saint Martin/lululemon

Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall are all about embracing each other's differences — and have found a new partner that encourages that.

Lululemon announced this week that the track and field stars — and recently engaged couple —will represent the brand as global ambassadors.

PEOPLE spoke to Davis and Woodhall, both 23, about how their partnership with the popular athletics brand was years in the making, and what they're doing to prove that running "can be a powerful tool to create and uplift communities."

Davis, a graduate of the University of Texas, made her Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games, where she placed sixth in the women's long jump. Woodhall, who was born with a congenital birth defect called fibular hemimelia and had both legs amputated as a baby, competed at his second Paralympic Games in Tokyo, where he won the bronze medal in the men's 400m event.

"I remember two or three years ago, when Tara was going through college, that people would ask, 'Who do you want to go pro with?' " Woodhall tells PEOPLE.

"She would just say, 'I really want to sign with Lululemon,' and at the time, Lululemon didn't really have ambassadors or athletes like they do today, so it seemed a little bit out of the realm of possibility," he adds.

Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis become lululemon ambassadors
Tara Davis. Jenna Saint Martin/lululemon

Now, the athletic couple has made that dream a reality, and they're working with the company to "show genuine differences" and represent diversity in sports. "Lululemon's really great at involving diverse communities. … We're pretty diverse ourselves. Everyone's different. It's OK to be different," Davis tells PEOPLE.

Having their values represented in a brand partnership was important to Davis and Woodhall — and it was equally as important to Lululemon.

Woodhall tells PEOPLE, "They brought in the team in charge of inclusion and diversity within the company, and one of the first things they did was ask us, 'How can we make sure that we are sharing your story in an authentic way? How can we make sure that you feel represented, that you're a part of this partnership and this family?' "

"It just spoke volumes to what Lululemon does as a company," she adds.

Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis become lululemon ambassadors
Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis. Jenna Saint Martin/lululemon

Lululemon's values aren't the only reason Davis and Woodhall chose to partner with them, however. "Tara's always worn their leggings, shirts, pretty much everything they make," Woodhall says, before praising the brand's pants, which, he notes, are "one of the only slacks or dress-up style pants that fit" on his prosthetic legs.

Navigating life as athletes, partners, and brand ambassadors can be tricky, but the soon-to-be Woodhalls tell PEOPLE they've worked hard to balance their busy lives together.

"One of the things that's really important is understanding how to communicate on both sides," he says. "... Understanding that we're doing the same things and we have the same goals, it's going to take both of us to motivate and push each other to the next level."

The athletic couple also believes that running can be a powerful tool for mental and physical health. Davis tells PEOPLE, "Running has just given me an outlook on life. It gets your body going, you can take your mind off of everything else and just focus on your breath and the sound of your feet running."

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