LaShawn Merritt Bio: Early Life, Career, & Personal Life

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LaShawn Merritt is a professional American track and field athlete who specializes in sprinting events.

This fantastic athlete holds several records, which are still unbroken, like winning the Olympics gold medal thrice. Besides, he also participated in World Junior Championship Athletics in 2004.

LaShawn Merritt
LaShawn Merritt (Source: Instagram)

Today in this read, we discuss the life of LaShawn Merritt from his life before fame, professional details, personal life, and many more.

But before we continue with the details, let us have an instant glance at the quick facts.

Quick Facts

Full Name LaShawn Merritt
Birth Date June 27, 1986
Birth Place Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Nickname Not Available
Nationality American
Ethnicity Black
Body Measurement Not Available
Education Woodrow Wilson High School
Horoscope Cancer
Father Name Owen Merritt
Mother Name Brenda Stukes
Sibling Not Available
Age 37 Years Old
Height 6ft. 2 inches (188 cm)
Weight 84 kg (185 lbs)
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Black
Build Athletic
Profession Track and Field Athlete
Marital Status Unmarried
Wife Name No
Net Worth $2.5 Million
Salary $250k-$500k
Social Media Instagram, Twitter
Merch Poster
Last Update June, 2024

LaShawn Merritt: Early Life and Education

LaShawn Merritt, the Olympian, was born on June 27, 1986, in Portsmouth, Virginia, United States.

Likewise, Merritt is the son of Owen Merritt and Brenda Stukes. However, very less information is available regarding his parents, but we will update him as soon as we find any information.

From a very early age, Merritt developed an interest in Sprinting. He always wanted to be an Olympian; while searching for his passion, and he found this to be his passion.

Merritt didn’t have a tough childhood; he could get whatever he wanted. LaShawn Merritt had the opportunity to attend Woodrow Wilson High School.

LaShawn Merritt: Age and Body Measurements

Merritt is 37 years old, and surprisingly, this handsome man is still single. 

Likewise, we would like to add that Merritt is a passionate person; he is always focused on learning new things and is committed to his work. In addition, his skills and his sprinting knowledge are marvelous.

He is one of the most talented sprinting athletes in whole America. Merritt has a charm that can attract any soul. Further, everyone appreciates his confidence, and that makes him even more attractive. 
LaShawn is 6 feet 2inches tall and weighs around 84 kg. Indeed, LaShawn has an attractive physique to maintain his body workout a lot.
Plus, he has beautiful black hair and attractive black eyes. Furthermore, as per his birth chart horoscope, LaShawn is Cancer.
Moreover, people who are born under this sunshine are usually determined, strong, and focused. No wonder LaShawn is one persistent and career-centered person.
Undoubtedly, if it weren’t for his hard work and dedication, he would not have been in the place where he is today.

Professional Career of LaShawn Merritt

As mentioned earlier, Merrit was interested in sprinting from a very early age, but he started his journey professionally in 2004. During his high school days, Merritt used to participate in various regional tournaments.

However, this is very rare that Merritt got success in a brief period of one year because many won’t accomplish it in years, but it took him only a year to win many titles.

Read about: Ryan Crouser, an American track and field athlete who won the gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics for shot put.

Not only did he win the Junior championship, but he also set two world records in the junior category.

After showing a fantastic performance in the junior category, Merritt got the chance to be a team member of the American 4×400 meter relay team and helped to win the event at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

Within a brief period, Merritt became successful in gaining himself some name and fame. In the 2007 World Championship, LaShawn establishes himself individually by winning a silver medal in the 400 m.

From 2004 to 2008, Merritt’s journey was magnificent. As we know, for any athlete Olympics are the goal to reach. Finally, after four years of being professional, Merritt got a chance to participate in the Olympics.

Undoubtedly, he won the Olympics 2008 and brought the gold medal for his country. Indeed that’s an excellent achievement. Moreover, with the help of his American team, he also broke the Olympic record in the relay, marking the second-fastest time ever.

Not surprisingly, in the 2009 World Champion in Athletics event, Merritt establishes himself as the World Champion in the 400 m and the 4×400 m relay.

Rise of LaShawn Merritt

After Merritt wins the Olympics, a new rivalry starts with Warnier, Warnier winning the 400 m at every significant global championship since 2004, but Merritt defeated him in 2008.

Then in July, at the Golden Gala meeting, Wariner responded LeShawn by winning in the 400 m by just 0.01 seconds. However, in the final match, LeShawn wins again by 0.99 seconds, making him first and Wariner second.

LeShawn Merritt with his national flag.
LaShawn Merritt during the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he wins his first-ever Olympic gold medal
However, again in some months after Olympics, Warnier regains in position and wins against LaShawn.
Although both had a cutthroat competition at the end of that season, Merritt won significant tournaments, making him the best athlete that year.

World Championship

Wariner was already qualified for the World Championships as the reigning champion; he won the 400 m race at the 2009 US Championships somewhat uncontested, reaching his own world-record time of 44.50 seconds.

Again in the 2009 World Championships Athletics, which took place in Berlin, he went on to win the 400 m in a world-leading time of 44.06 seconds and beat Warnier once again.

However, 2010 was probably the worst year in Merritt’s life as he was first suspended and later banned for two years after failing a drug test thrice.

Moreover, LaShawn claims he didn’t know that he was consuming steroids. However, he admits he was taking penis enlargement products but claims that he didn’t see the presence of asteroids substances in it. 

Further, LaShawn accepts the ban and respects the authority’s decision.

Back on the track

After returning from the ban, he came back stronger and prepared for any obstacles. Similarly, he was allowed to participate in the 2011 World Champions directly because he was 2009’s World Champion and couldn’t participate in the 2010 tournament due to a ban on him.

Again, while he was coming back on track, he suffered from an injury. Furthermore, he would participate in the Olympics qualifier, but he had to back out from the 2012 Olympics due to injury.

Merritt sets records after records after breaking his personal bests
Merritt sets records after records after breaking his personal bests.

From 2012 to 2016, Merritt didn’t participate in any events or let us say there are no records of him playing for four years.

Notwithstanding, after four years of recovering from injury, Merritt comes back with a bang. Not surprisingly, he participates in Olympics 2016, and guess what? He wins the gold medal for his country.

LaShawn Merritt: Personal & Love Life 

Undoubtedly, LaShawn is a highly respected name in the track and field world. And, LaShawn is equally a good human being as much as he is best as an athlete. Moreover, Merritt likes to live his life on his terms and is still single.

Likewise, LaShawn has no plans of getting married any time soon. For now, he wants to focus on his career and be a better person.

Besides, LaShawn loves his family, and whenever he is free, he loves to spend time with his parents. 

LaShawn Merritt: Net Worth & Income 

At the prime age of 37, LaShawn has gained massive success in becoming one of America’s outstanding sprinting events athletes.

Apart from the high recognition and popularity, this young and talented player, Merritt, has also acquired remarkable wealth.

As of 2024, Lahawn has a net worth approx of $2.5 million. And undoubtedly, all this has been possible because of his career as a professional track and field athlete.

LaShawn Merritt
LaShawn Merritt (Source: Instagram)

Besides, LaShawn also earns from his merch, and he has a merch of sprinter and shoes. Apart from that, LaShawn also makes a good amount of money from brand deals and endorsements.

If you are not aware, then to date, LaShawn has won $90,000 from the Olympics to win gold medals and $10,000 to win a bronze medal.

In total, LaShawn has won around $100,000 from the Olympics committee to date. Apart from that, he has earned $100,000 from other tournaments.

Indeed, this American Javelin thrower is living a well-to-do lifestyle alone and happy.

Achievements and Honors

  • Olympics gold-medalist, thrice and one-time bronze medal winner
  • Eight times World Champion and three times secured second place in World Champion.
  • Three gold medals in Junior World Championship.
  • Continental Cup Winner, thrice.

Social Media Presence

No doubt, LaShawn Merritt is one influential personality, and a lot of people follow him. Moreover, he is active in social media. 

Mostly, LaShawn is active on Twitter, and he is frequently seen tweeting about games and his career.

Besides, LaShawn has an Instagram account as well, but he is not much active on Instagram. Nevertheless, on his Instagram, we can see him posting about his family.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is LaShawn Merritt getting married?

For now, LaShawn has no plans to get married any time soon.

Is LaShawn a drug addict?

There is no correct information about it. However, Merritt claims he is not a druggist, yet he failed a drug test three times and got banned for two years. But he has his valid reasons for this.

Miss. KeCy
Miss. KeCy

Anusha K.C

Anusha K.C is a dynamic writer with a keen interest in uncovering the stories that lie beneath the surface of the sports world. Her articles offer readers a fresh perspective on athletes and sporting events, blending insightful analysis with engaging storytelling.


Sports Analysis Lifestyle Coverage


  • Anusha shares inspiring stories of athletes who have overcome adversity to achieve success.
  • She explores the off-field lives of athletes, from their training routines and dietary habits.


Anusha's passion for sports journalism is rooted in a love of competition and a fascination with the human stories behind athletic achievement. With a background in writing and a keen eye for detail, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, capturing the excitement and emotion of sports with depth and insight.

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