OVETTA SAMPSON has held many titles. Journalist, author, editor, publisher, programmer, business owner, coach, daughter and friend—these are just some of her salutations. But, by far, her favorite title is Ironman.

A self-proclaimed non-athlete, who spent years overweight and obese, in December 2013, Ovetta completed the grueling ultra distance triathlon Ironman Cozumel, a race that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and finishes with a marathon. She revamped her diet, lost 100 pounds, and transformed her perception of what it means to be an athlete.

She's now helping others find their inner fitness fierceness through Faith Inspired Triathlon Training located on Chicago’s South Side. When she’s not coaching swimming sessions, cycling, running or doing a half-marathon, Ovetta is a Communication Analyst at DePaul University. And as a M.S. candidate in human-computer interaction, Ovetta seeks to create technology products that help people discover their undiscovered athletic abilities.  

Ovetta was featured in the Chicago Reader's "The People Issue" 2014, which is "about the significance of individuals—particularly 20 Chicagoans whose contributions to the city are in some cases overlooked. But it is also about the ways in which each of these people connects to a bigger community, and how that community can magnify an already potent force."

Photo courtesy of Jeff Marini, the Chicago Reader.

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