When Quanesha Burks competes in long jump at the Olympic Games in Toyko, she isn’t just representing the sport and the country.
She is showing her community that with hard work and dream, anything is possible. And along the way, that building included working the lobby at an Alabama McDonald's.
“Like a little 16-year-old cute kid in Hartselle, the dream was in the far distance but I always had it,” Burks told WAAY 31’s Matt Kroschel before jumping on a plane bound for Toyko.
Burks says she often caught herself daydreaming while manning the drive-through line at a Hartselle McDonald’s restaurant.
“Everything when I was 16 helped me to become the person I am now,” Burks explained.
Now this standout track and field star from Hartselle High is competing on the world stage, a stage Burk’s boss Kim McCabe from McDonald's had a feeling she would conquer.
“I knew back then. I had seen her compete. I knew she was going to go someplace big with it,” McCabe said.
Skip ahead to now, an Olympic athlete. And even if McCabe always had a feeling Burks would go far, actually hearing the news was an emotional experience.
“I did cry. I had to run out and tell all my family, I told my kids,” McCabe added.
A community rallying to cheer on one of their own.
“Honestly, we did it. This was a community that raised me to who I am now, and I feel like I am an Olympian. Bt we are all Olympians because so many people supported me. They all contributed to this,” Burks said.