Former Olympic 400-metre hurdler Shevon Stoddart was nothing short of inspiration as the athlete, no longer on the track, wowed the judges of America’s Got Talent with her voice earlier this week.
The now-married Stoddart, auditioning in the 15th season of the US-based competition, performed an original song ‘Through the Good & the Bad’, which is dedicated to her husband and fellow athlete Jamie Neito.
Stoddart, sharing an update with her over 16,000 Instagram followers on Friday, said the outcome of her audition would be revealed this Tuesday, June 30. Viewers of the popular NBC competition would also be in for an unexpected surprise as she shared a clip of her Round 1 audition.
The 37-year-old told judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel and Eric Stonestreet that she retired from professional athletics in 2016, when Neito, her then-boyfriend met in a jumping accident that left him paralysed from the chest down.
The Jamaican, who represented the island in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, said in between tears that her world was turned upside down when Neito got injured and was no longer able to help himself.
“In 2016, I got a phone call that changed my life. Jamie was coaching Olympic-hopeful athletes and [his] foot slipped on one of his jumps. When I got to the hospital, he was laying there and he could no longer move. They said he was paralysed, walking was not in that equation,” she cried.
In the nearly seven-minute preview, Stoddart explained that it was after deciding to retire and stand by her husband that she became inspired to pursue music.
“During this time, I found a lot of comfort in music; that’s when these songs started coming into my mind and started writing these songs for Jaime,”
Watch the snippet in full below, BUZZ fam:
Stoddart initially auditioned earlier in May after the competition re-opened its online auditions. The Los Angeles-based television show was shuttered in March amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Tune in next week to see Shavon’s journey in season 15 of America’s Got Talent continue.