Deborah John moved to the United States from Arouca, Trinidad & Tobago in the fall of 2009. Since then, she has shattered women’s track records and rewritten them time and time again. Now a graduate student in business management and with a season of eligibility left, John feels at home in Fargo and is ready to see where her sprinting career will take her.
Bison Illustrated: When’s the last time you were back home?
Deborah John: “I went home in June to compete in the National Championships back at home for a weekend, then I was back here so I didn’t get to go home and spend much time there this offseason.”
BI: What is something you appreciate more about your hometown every time you return?
DJ: “The weather definitely (laughs). The food is the next thing on top of my list and then being around my family and friends. My favorite food is called Peleu. It’s just a mixture of rice with beans and any type of meat and then you cook it up. You can make it spicy depending on how much heat you can take.”
BI: What are some differences in the sport you had to adjust to coming to the US?
DJ: “The one difference in competition is that I have never had an indoor season until coming up here. Prior to coming to Fargo, I have never ran a 60-meter dash and stuff like that, we usually do 100- and 200-meter dash.”
BI: Is the coaching different?
DJ: “I love Stevie. I love his program, but it was really different. In the offseason, we have more long distance and we ran more miles run and stuff like that which I didn’t like (laughs).”
BI: What were some cultural differences you have had to adjust to?
DJ: “I’d say the one difference and difficulty I had was back home, if you were having a conversation with someone, eye contact wasn’t important. When I’m here, you have to watch a person in the face because it’s a sign of disrespect if you don’t. …So that’s the only difference I have seen in terms of the culture.”
BI: Thanks! We’ll see you soon on the track!
DJ: “Sounds good!”