How Three Homeless Sisters Became Sports Illustrated’s ‘Sports Kids of the Year’ 

Tai (11), Rainn (10) and Brooke Sheppard (9) crushed the competition at this year’s Junior Olympics, but getting there didn’t come with ease. Three years ago, the girls lost their 17-year-old half-brother to gun violence. And their mom raised them on her own from a two-bedroom unit in a Brooklyn homeless shelter since last September.

Before taking any interest in track and field, the girls were participants in an after school chess club, played the piano and had a love for books. The course of their lives changed when their babysitter signed them up for indoor track meets. What began as a just for fun sport, took on a greater meaning once the sisters caught the eye of their now coach, Jean Bell, at the Colgate Women’s Games…

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