In the world of elite sprinting, much like the world at large, excellence allows little room for error.
That gold was particularly sweet for the Jamaican-born sprinter. Four years earlier in Beijing, she had been the gold-medal favorite but ended up placing third due to a devastating leg cramp.
"London was me running into my destiny," Richards-Ross told CNBC. "It was a dream I had since I was 9 years old to be an Olympic champion."
The individual gold Richards-Ross achieved in 2012 is one of four gold medals she counts to her name, alongside golds from the women's 4 by 400 meter relays in Athens in 2004, in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012. She also has a bronze medal from the individual 400-meter sprint in Beijing.
The 31-year-old athlete had hoped to defend her title in Rio this year, but several injuries forced her to drop out in the qualifying rounds. Instead, Richards-Ross will go to Rio as an announcer and commentator with NBC (CNBC's parent company).
While her professional sprinting career is over, Richards-Ross is also an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Her businesses include faux-fur line Foofi & Bella, the salon The Hair Clinic and the luxury livery fleet she owns with her husband, Ross Elite Chauffeur Service.
The elite athlete turned entrepreneur shares her top secrets for success: