The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hosting an Olympics watch party in support of Anna Cockrell, sister of CB Ross Cockrell. Anna is competing for the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — This training camp, the Detroit Lions aren’t the only team hosting Olympic track and field watch parties. At 7:55 a.m., the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host one as well. Anna Cockrell, the sister of cornerback Ross Cockrell, competed in Semifinal 3 of the women’s 400-meter hurdles on Monday, just minutes before entering the practice field.
Cockrell, who was a vital reserve for the Bucs’ Super Bowl-winning squad last year, is overjoyed that his younger sister will be able to fulfill her goal, even if he won’t be there to see it.
Cockrell added, “She’s worked hard her whole life for this, and I’m just really happy for her.” “On the track, she’s an absolute beast. I have a great deal of admiration for what she does.”
In June, the four-time All-American from Southern California won NCAA championships in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles. She then had the performance of her life in the Olympic Trials, leapfrogging from fifth position in the last turn to third place with a personal best time of 53.70 seconds to secure the final berth on the Olympic squad.
Then on Friday, she finished third in Heat 1 with a 55.37, just ahead of Melissa Gonzalez (55.32), the wife of Lions backup quarterback David Blough, and Viktoriya Tkachuk of Ukraine (54.80).
“One of the things I tell Anna is that she’s a five-star recruit straight out of high school,” Cockrell said. “‘Be a five-star,’ I simply urge her. Just take a deep breath and do it… Simply take a deep breath, do what you need to do, and let your light shine.’”
Since she’s been in Tokyo, the Cockrell siblings have been able to speak on the phone and exchange text messages. They were muttering about the weather on Saturday night. The scorching heat and oppressive humidity of Japan took her off surprise, especially because the elder Cockrell had just put on pads for the first time at a Tampa Bay training camp.
Cockrell, who joined the Bucs as a free agency halfway through the season, said, “We have excellent discussions about it, how to cope with playing at a high level.” “I like giving her as much advise as I can as the elder brother. I’m working on improving my listening skills. It’s something I’m aware I need to work on with her. We just have interesting discussions. At the same time, we appreciate what each other [accomplishes], and when we need to give each other room, we do so.”
Anna’s senior year of competition at Southern California was cut short owing to the Olympic Games being postponed due to the epidemic. It was the “longest year of my sister’s life,” according to Cockrell, but it helped her revitalize physically and emotionally.
She spoke up about fighting depression in 2019 and wanting to leave the sport in a sad postrace interview during trials, which she has subsequently expanded on owing to an increasing emphasis on athlete mental health at the Olympics.
“She has a lot of skill,” Cockrell remarked. “She’s a beautiful woman on the inside and out.
“We’re simply very grateful. I believe it is the whole family — all of us. Every day, every time we speak to one other, we thank God. All of these things are occurring at the same time, which is difficult to describe.”