Sekou Kaba is a Canadian 110 metre hurdler who made his Olympic debut in Rio August 15, 2016.
He was born in Conakry, Guinea on August 25, 1990 as the third child of seven and lived there for the first 10 years of his childhood. In 2001 he moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan with his siblings in hopes of a better education. The move to Michigan did not only provide him access to better books and teachers but also to sports teams and athletic training. Before this, Sekou had never seen or heard of track and field. He didn't know what hurdles were or how to get over them. His first memory of track involves seeing schoolmates jumping over hurdles during an after school program and knowing that this was something he would eventually love to master. Sekou knew it would be a challenge and the very next day he found himself at this after school program getting beat by girls and falling on his face, literally.
Four years later Sekou was in love with every aspect of hurdling and brought this passion along with him as he and his family moved to Snellville, Georgia. He brought the desire with him but didn't have the confidence to try out for the track team. Previous years of bullying due to his developing English had discouraged Sekou from interacting with others in order to avoid the risk of being mocked and made fun of for his accent- things that he had previously experienced in Michigan. He sacrificed an entire season of track and field and all other sports because of this. Over the next year he made it a priority to improve his English. Sekou knew that improving his English would kickstart his return to track but he knew that it would not be the sole contributing factor. With the help of his cousin, Sekou was able to put together a home gym to train and better prepare him for his highly anticipated comeback season.
The following year had come and his first appearance in varsity sports was not on the track but rather on the field of Shiloh High School playing football. Sekou displayed characteristics of a well-rounded athlete and was able to pick up new skills quickly in a sport he had only seen on T.V. His linebacker coach, Don Hudson, who had just been named the head coach of track and field at Shiloh High School, recognized Sekou's potential and facilitated Sekou's transition onto the track. From the moment Sekou cleared his first hurdle he emerged as the best hurdler in the school and went on to be one of the best in the county, region and was top 5 at States over the next two years. In 2007, Sekou moved to Ottawa leaving behind many NCAA scholarship offers for track and football but continued his athletic career in Canada. He continues to train with the Ottawa Lions today.