The two-time Olympian has since found herself struggling with depression and the aftermath of her 2014 hip surgery that caused her to consider retiring from the sport when recovery got difficult and she wasn’t sure she could get back to top shape.
“Retiring was not an option because I have more left in the tank,” Reese, 29, tells Us Weekly. “I felt I wasn't done reaching my goals. I have been chasing my goals of breaking the American and world record, and didn't want to give up on them.”
Crediting her “mental coach” for helping her overcome depression, Reese made a strong comeback and qualified for her third Olympics earlier this month in Eugene, Oregon.
As she prepares to defend her title, she shares with Us the songs on her playlist — which she listens to through her JLab Audio Earbuds — that pumps her up.
“Big Rings” by Drake: “This is my jam because the song symbolizes the five Olympic rings to me.”
“Jumpman” by Drake and Future: “As a long jumper, obviously a song like ‘Jumpman’ is going to be personal to me.”
“New Level” by ASAP Ferg: “As someone who has several records and who is looking to break the world record, this song epitomizes my mindset. I’m on a whole new level.”
“On My Grind” by Tunji Ige: “I stay on my grind all the time, whether on the track or off.“Summer Sixteen” by Drake: “With 2016 being the Olympic year, ‘Summer Sixteen’ is basically my theme song because I want to own this summer.”
“All the Way Up” by Fat Joe: “This is just a hot song that gets my hyped. I love Remy Ma’s verse.”
“I’m the Man” by 50 Cent: “50 Cent is a beast on a track and my nickname is The Beast.”
“That Part” by Schoolboy Q: “This is a bangin’ beat and Schoolboy Q is a dope rapper. I really dig his voice.”
The Rio Olympics begin August 5 and will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. The Rio Paralympics begin September 7 and will be streamed live on TeamUSA.org.