A two-sport athlete in his youth, Gil Roberts’s talent was known early and widely across the midwest. Growing up in Oklahoma City, Roberts won team state titles at Millwood High School in both football and track. And as powerful as he was on the gridiron, Gil was a force to be reckoned with on the track.
At Texas Tech University, Gil immediately stood out, earning All-American honors during his freshman year. As a sophomore, Gil finished second in the 400m final at the NCAA Indoor Championships and broke the university record outdoors. In his senior season, Gil qualified for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, where he won a gold medal on Team USA’s 4x400m Relay team. That spring, Gil had his best finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, placing third in the 400m and setting another Texas Tech record.
Having finished his university eligibility, Gil turned professional and in 2013, moved to Los Angeles to train under renowned coach John Smith. Just a year after this transition, Gil won his first US championships at 400m. After injury limited his 2015 season, Gil returned to the track with focus and placed second in the 400m final at the 2016 US Olympic Trials, earning him a spot on Team USA for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. At Rio, Gil finished one place out from qualifying for the final of the 400m. Undaunted, he ran a key leg for the USA’s squad in the 4x400m Relay, earning himself his first Olympic gold medal.