Tianna Madison has been a popular subject of discussion among members of the media.
The Elyria, Ohio native and former Tennessee Volunteer has stormed through the mixed zone after each of her 100 and 200 meter races, refusing to speak to the media. Her only press appearances have come in her hometown paper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Even after finishing second in the 100 meters and qualifying for her first Olympic team, Madison skipped the on-track awards presentation and post-race press conference.
These events follow a series of curious events in Madison’s life. She reportedly recently married Florida businessman John Bartoletta.
“She got married during the indoor season,” former training partner Joanna Hayes told The Plain Dealer.
Madison has refused to speak on the issue, telling The Plain Dealer, ”I am a very private person. I would like to keep my private life private.” Bartoletta, founder of social networking website UNATION, has been seen walking through the mixed zone with Madison.
Madison trains in Florida under coach Rana Reider. Members of Reider’s current training group include triple jump world champion Christian Taylor, Olympic long jump gold medalist Dwight Phillips and world runner-up hurdler Danielle Carruthers. Reider was named the USATF coach of the year in 2011.
Madison is sponsored by Saucony, which certainly cannot be happy with her refusal to entertain media inquiries. Athletes are not just sponsored to wear a company’s singlet in races but also represent the brand in a positive light off the track. It may not be in Madison’s contract that she must speak to the media but don’t expect sponsors to be eagerly knocking on her door in an Olympic year that is financially lucrative for many athletes.
It will be curious to see if Madison continues with her set of behavior through the summer. It would certainly be odd if she medals at the Olympic Games and then skips the medal ceremony, a moment many athletes consider the highlight of their athletic pursuits.