Two-time Olympian Shevon Nieto is on the cusp of realizing her second life-long dream.
Her first got here 16 years in the past, when the Uniondale High School graduate and monitor and area star competed for her native Jamaica within the 400-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Four years later, Nieto was again on the world’s largest stage at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Now, along with her skilled operating profession behind her, Nieto is concentrated on a singing profession and will likely be featured on America’s Got Talent eight p.m. Tuesday on NBC. Video of the efficiency has been launched on-line upfront of the episode’s air date.
“I wanted to be an Olympian, but I knew my first love was music,” mentioned Nieto, 37, who now lives in Pasadena, California. “I was always [asked], ‘How are you going to do both?’ I always felt like God would work out a way for me to accomplish these dreams.”
Nieto, who moved to Uniondale from Jamaica at 4 years previous, carried out an authentic tune on the present, ‘Through the Good and the Bad,’ written for her husband Jamie Nieto, a fellow two-time Olympian who was paralyzed from the chest down after making an attempt a backflip whereas teaching at Azusa Pacific University in California on April 22, 2016.
The couple gained nationwide curiosity after Jamie was capable of stroll down the aisle at their 2017 wedding ceremony. The stroll, which occurred because of intensive bodily remedy, was coated by main information shops and was featured on ESPN and the NBC Nightly News.
Nieto, who spent 11 years on the ladies’s skilled operating circuit, employed a producer to make a video for her tune and launched it final November. In January, she acquired an electronic mail from America’s Got Talent producers inviting her to compete on the 15th season of the favored present.
“It was pretty amazing when I saw that email come through,” mentioned Nieto, whose maiden title is Stoddart and nonetheless has household in Uniondale and Westbury. “I said, ‘Wait a minute, does that say America’s Got Talent?”
She went straight to the primary spherical, bypassing the standard audition course of. In March, she carried out in entrance of judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet, and Simon Cowell. The 4 gave her a standing ovation.
“This is Simon Cowell,” she mentioned of the famously robust choose. “We’ve seen so many great, talented artists step on that stage. You got a standing ovation from one of the hardest judges in the world. That was pretty cool.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no viewers watching the efficiency, though her husband was proven beaming from the wings.
“To be back on the stage, still able to do what I love, and [be] inspired by the person I was with, it was just like qualifying for the Olympic Games all over again,” she mentioned.
In addition to ESPN and NBC, the couple has been featured on ‘Black Love,’ a documentary on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN community, and can act on the upcoming Netflix present ‘Away’ with Oscar-winner Hilary Swank.
But for now, Nieto’s focus is on getting her singing profession up and operating, and he or she’s hoping that America’s Got Talent will likely be her ticket.
“I went on the stage and I did the best that I could, so I’m hoping that that was good enough to get to the second round,” she mentioned. “Obviously I would love the opportunity to keep going so I can win the show.”
Of course, Nieto wouldn’t reveal the outcomes of the opening spherical – or even when she knew them herself.
“Well, I just can’t say,” she mentioned with a giggle. “You’re going to have to watch on Tuesday.”