After a tumultuous year, including the loss of her mother and significant surgery, Saunders will focus on recovery for return during the 2023 season.
Two-time Olympian Raven “Hulk” Saunders has announced her withdrawal from the remaining 2022 competitive track and field season. After a hard-fought meet at the USATF National Championships in Eugene this past June, Raven determined that her fourth-place finish was not to her standards. It was evident to Raven that her body had not fully recovered from major hip surgery only nine months prior. It was apparent during her performance at nationals that the “Hulk” was at about 80% of her usual self and that the muscles supporting her hip area had not fully recovered, causing her throws to be inconsistent. After the competition, Raven and her team decided that this meant additional dedication and focus on recovery. Training and continued rehab are essential for her to fully recover from this hip surgery and the previous hip surgery. Her main goal is to return to competition at 100% for the indoor season, a complete and injury-free outdoor season, and a shot at the world championships in 2023.
It is also important to point out that as an advocate for mental health, Raven is aware of the psychological effects major surgeries such as hers can have on an athlete, especially at the elite level. Raven has endured a tumultuous year both on and off the track.
Though in her heart, Raven wanted to return at the first possible moment, a combination of physical and mental health challenges leading from the surgery did not see her at her best. With no excuses, Raven acknowledges that THIS version of the “Hulk” is, after all, human.
Raven will continue to advocate for mental and physical health and the causes she holds dear to her heart. She will speak on behalf of her sponsors, Nike and Leidos, in the coming months on these subjects to continue spreading the word for the oppressed.
She looks forward to announcing her official return to competition as soon as she is physically fit and is excited for the world to see her again at full capacity…it will be an epic return!