Tara Davis-WoodhallHunter WoodhallTrack & FieldPara Track & FieldNews

It’s A Family Affair For Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis-Woodhall As Paris Awaits

by Brian Pinelli

(L-R) Hunter Woodhall and then Tara Davis pose for a photo together at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field on June 26, 2021 in Eugene, Ore. (Photo by Getty Images)

They have quickly become track and field’s power couple.

Hunter Woodhall and his wife of almost two years Tara Davis-Woodhall have excelled on the track with speed and sacrifice, while overtly sharing their personal journey together, entertaining fans and fellow competitors alike with their style, swagger and social media savvy.

Hunter, a double-amputee sprinter and three-time Paralympic medalist and Tara, a world championship gold and silver medalist, and one of the pre-eminent American long jumpers, form a cohesive bond together.

They are a match made in heaven.

“Honestly, I would say we’re just being ourselves – we continue to do what excites us and a lot of times that does pull in fashion, a little bit of pzazz or excitement around the camera,” Woodhall tells Team USA.

“That’s what keeps the love for the sport living for us and I hope that it inspires and gets people excited,” he adds.

Davis-Woodhall expounded upon their multi-faceted relationship: “We hold each other accountable – we’re a partnership, we’re a team, and every day, it’s a new experience, but we get to do it together, so it makes it ten times better.”

Hunter continues: “This sport has given us everything – the chance to travel the world and work together every day, so we have so much to be grateful for. That allows us to take a little more of a lighthearted approach and enjoy what we’re doing.”

The globe-trotting husband and wife have blazed to fast starts this Olympic and Paralympic year. Hunter set a new American record in the 100-meter T62 on his carbon-fiber blades, clocking a time of 11 seconds flat at the outdoor season opener in Walnut, California, in mid-March.

Woodhall-Davis recently took top honors at the star-studded New York City Grand Prix on June 9, leaping to an impressive mark of 7.14m/23ft. 5in. She also boasts the second-best jump in the world in 2024 at 7.18m/23ft. 6 ¾ in.

“Tara has been on a tear this season – I think both of us have been performing well and enjoying what we’re doing,” Hunter says. “We’re always cheering on one another.”

Hunter, who began his track career growing up in Utah, is full-speed ahead on new carbon fiber blades. He is on track to compete in multiple events at his third Paralympics in Paris this summer. Tara is poised to soar to her second Olympic appearance, considered among the favorites in the women’s long jump. The high-flying Texan finished sixth in her specialty at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, just five inches out of the medals.

(L-R) Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis-Woodhall walking together in matching outfits. (Photo by Courtesy of Tara Davis-Woodhall and Hunter Woodhall)

Woodhall says that he and his wife – who he affectionately refers to as the “bread winner” of the family – feed off one another’s desire and plethora of accomplishments.

“I definitely don’t think either of us would be at the level we’re at without the level of support that we provide for each other, as well as the team that surrounds us,” Woodhall affirms.

“As far as the success, it’s super motivating because we do the same things every day – it’s just a vote of confidence knowing that we’re doing the right things together.”

Tara will take flight this week at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field, in Eugene, Oregon. Hunter, naturally, will be like a comforting shadow, not only serving in his roles as husband, loyal supporter and enthralled fan, but also de facto coach. 

“I’ll be stepping in (as coach) and telling her the cues that she needs to hear, but honestly she’s such a technician, so talented and so elite, that she doesn’t need a whole lot of help.”

“My job at any competition is to make it easier on her so that she has one less thing to think about, be a headache solver and a little bit of a bull**** door, to keep all of the stuff she doesn’t want to deal with out of the way.”

Pushing boundaries – especially on the grand stage of the Paralympics – is the ultimate goal for Woodhall this season. His Paralympic track record includes racing to a silver medal in the 200m T44 and bronze in the 400m T44 classification at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. Three years ago, he also garnered bronze in the 400m T62 at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Tara’s sights are squarely set on Paris also, as the women’s Olympic long jump final is scheduled for Aug. 8. The proud Texan – often seen wearing her trademark cowgirl hat at and around meets – will say ‘Bonjour’ to the French capital with momentum and confidence.

Woodhall-Davis has performed near peak at her last two major international competitions, launching to gold at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in March, and also nabbing silver at the 2023 World Athletic Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

(L-R) Tara Davis-Woodhall and Hunter Woodhall walk the aisle at their wedding. (Photo by Courtesy of Tara Davis-Woodhall and Hunter Woodhall)

The happy couple first met while both were still high school athletes, competing at the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho. Woodhall says that they have always shared a “super competitive” nature while training together, and similarly in other aspects of their relationship. 

“I would say we always train with intensity and excitement, so there is never really an easy training day,” Woodhall says, while pointing out that their event-specific training is individualized. “Not to say that we’re not having fun, but we’re there for a purpose, so we work hard and don’t waste time. 

“Back at home, whether we’re playing any board game, Uno, or playing card games with friends – we hate losing and we love winning,” he says.

Hunter readily admits that he can be a “sore loser.”

“I’m a horrible loser – luckily I don’t lose too often, so it doesn’t come out too terribly often,” he says, half-kidding. “We’re also sore winners – we like to rub it in to each other, talk trash and we know how to push each other’s buttons.” 

Hunter displayed elite form, striding to a pair of silver medals, in the 100m T62 and 400m T62, at the recent World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan. The highly driven adaptive athlete seems to be weaving together a tapestry of excellence ahead of the 2024 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials – Track & Field, in Miramar, Florida, July 18-20, and ultimately the Paralympic Games Paris 2024.

“I’ve been running very fast gearing up for trials – I’ve made so many changes this year and just seeing so many improvements, so it’s really exciting,” Woodhall says. “My main focus at the Paralympics will be the 400m, but I plan to run the 100m and possibly the 4x100m relay also.

“I’m going to run as fast as I can and I think that will be fast enough that I can’t lose,” Woodhall says, with confidence. “The goal this year is to push the boundaries of what is possible as an amputee – I want to run faster than anybody has ever run and run faster than anyone thinks is possible on blades.”

It would only seem apropos that after work is done at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, the loving couple will share a few romantic moments in the enchanting ‘City of Love.’

“We’ve visited Paris more than I’ve ever thought these past few years and what an amazing city – luckily for me, I’m going to be there from July 30 through Sept. 8, so I’m sure Tara and I can squeeze in a few dates.”