August 27, 2013
An Unlikely Friendship

When Samantha Briggs sent Lindsey Valenzuela a Facebook message earlier this year and asked if she could come train and live with her, the Southern California athlete was taken aback.

“‘With me?’” Valenzuela recounts. “‘Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if I can keep up with you, but let’s do it.’”

For Briggs, it was an obvious choice.

“She comes from a strength background. I’m more endurance. So I thought what better person to train with — somebody who’s my complete opposite,” she explains. “I’m very chilled out. Nothing seems to faze me, so I think that, hopefully, I’m a bit of a calming influence on her.”

Briggs ended up winning the Games, and the fiery Valenzuela placed second.

“It’s just crazy that me and her mesh so well,” Valenzuela says. “She wants to win — you better believe when she goes out there she’s gonna be an animal, she’s gonna go till she dies — but she wants other people to do really well, and she eases my anxiety a lot.”

Video by Jonathan Glancy.