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ICYMI: ‘Sports Illustrated’ named these three sisters 2016 SportsKids of the Year

The Sheppard sisters overcame adversity and are determined to become Junior Olympians

Meet Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard. The three sisters were recently named 2016 Sports Illustrated SportsKids of the Year. The dedicated trio is in training to reach its Junior Olympics goals.

In a recent story in Essence, the family tells the story of overcoming homelessness. The girls were signed up for gymnastics by their baby sitter. They played chess and piano before diving into the world of sports. Tai even had a book club when she was in fourth grade.

According to Sports Illustrated, 11-year-old Tai said she wants to qualify for the AAU Junior Olympic Games every year. In July, she competed for the second time in her age group at a meet in Houston, where she placed second in the 80-meter hurdles. “Since I qualified for my first year, I’m like, I can do this. I know I can,” she said.

Ten-year-old Rainn defeated the second place team in her division at their last competition by one minute and 20 seconds.

Nine-year-old Brooke said she plans to go to the Olympics one day.

Thank you to the Sheppards for keeping the #BlackGirlMagic going.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.