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Who is Jenny Simpson?

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Track Beginnings 

Born August 23, 1986 in Webster City, Iowa. She started running in third grade after moving to Florida. She is now a supporter of physical education classes in the public school system.

Major Competitions/Medals 

After claiming the 1500m gold medal in 2011 and the silver medal in 2013, Simpson had high expectations entering the 1500m final at the 2015 World Championships. Her shoe came loose, however,  and she had to kick it off with about 600m left while only trailing the eventual winner, Genzebe Dibaba. She kept running, even as the track ripped her skin, and placed 11th. 

Breakout Moment

2011 World Championships. She switched from the steeplechase to the 1500m in 2010 after injuring her femur. A year later, she surprised many by winning the gold medal at Worlds. 

Records Held 

Simpson was the American steeplechase record holder until Emma Coburn ran a better time earlier this year.


Simpson often celebrates by forming the shape of a heart with her hands. 

Top Quotes 

“In the last 200m of a race, her eyes change and she becomes this different person. She is just an animal fighting. She is an incredible athlete that last portion of the race, and sometimes she’s so focused that it doesn’t matter what happens and I’ll have to tell her she won.  And she’s like, ‘What?  I won?’  She’s so in the moment and so fierce and such a great competitor that sometimes she doesn’t even realize that she won a race right away. She’s just so in the moment of the race, which I really respect about her.” –Emma Coburn 

Olympic Experience

2008: No medals

2012: No medals

Outside the Track

Every weekend, Simpson works with a group of young refugee kids. She helps them with everything from math to driving lessons.

Social Media

Facebook: Jenny Barringer Simpson

Twitter: trackjenny

Instagram: trackjenny


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