Nike-sponsored athlete English Gardner literally had big shoes to fill to win gold at the Rio Olympics.
The runner misplaced her footwear on Friday moments before the women’s 4 x 100-meter track and field relay race in Rio de Janeiro and had to borrow sneakers from teammate Allyson Felix, the most decorated female track star in history. Felix gave Gardner a pair of her own spikes that were a half-size larger and customized for her narrow feet.
Still, history was made for Team USA when it triumphed in 41.01 seconds — the second-fastest time ever in the category.
Gardner, who wears size 7.5, told USA Track & Field that she padded the sneakers with an extra pair of socks to adjust the shoe’s size 8 fitting.
“Out of lane one ….we made history!!!! Thank you ladies for helping a dream come true !!! 🇺🇸🤘🏼 @usatf @teamusa @nike,” Gardner wrote on Instagram, thanking Nike.
She had on Nike Air Zoom All Out Flyknit ULTD Women’s shoes, which are designed to enhance a runner’s stride.
The sneakers incorporate Zoom Air technology that creates an ultra-lightweight, springy feeling, and a form-fitting Flyknit upper that delivers support; available for $170 online.
The sportswear brand’s Olympic-inspired “Medal Stand” Free RN Flyknits are available on nike.com for $130.