Before the Tokyo OLYMPICS, Molly Seidel had only run twice the mythical distance of running. Yet this endearing personality leaves with the bronze medal.
Some train all their lives for 42.195 km to achieve this result. Not Molly Seidel. The Olympic Games marathon she ran saturday 7 August was only the third in his life. However, this athlete, a specialist at the origin of the middle distance, won the bronze medal, ahead of the untouchables Kenyan Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei, in the sweltering heat of Sapporo. A daydream for this endearing personality with an atypical career.
She may be the first surprise of her catwalk, she dreamed of it since she was a little girl. In CM1, she wrote in a class work that she ” would like to participate in the Olympic Games and win a gold medal.”
Asked about this anecdote, she responded to the media with a laugh : “I’m a little late but I still got my medal. I am delighted with this bronze, ” she celebrates.
“To be the one who sticks his nose where it is not necessary”
The performance took everyone by surprise. And for good reason, Molly Seidel landed in the middle of the marathon during the US Olympic track and field selections in February 2020. With no reference time over the distance, she finished second in 2 hours 27 minutes 31 seconds, giving her one of the three American places at the Olympics. All with a disconcerting naturalness since she allowed herself to clap in the hand of her sister, with whom she lives in Boston, at the 7th kilometer while the other champions preferred to stay focused.
It was the first marathon of his life. Prior to that, Molly Seidel specialized mostly in middle distance races. She had qualified for the selections thanks to an excellent time in the half marathon a month earlier.
On the race of the Tokyo Olympics, Molly Seidel applied the same recipe as during the American selections. She stayed in the peloton for a long time and then finished the race strongly, carried by the cheering crowd in one of the few events that were not behind closed doors.
“I just wanted to go, to be a running person when everyone else had to say ‘Who’s that one ?”, she said after the race. “I just wanted to be the one who puts his nose where it doesn’t. Frankly ! The Olympic Games are only held once every four years, so you have to try your luck.”
Crying on arrival
Put on the phone with her relatives, Marie Seidel gave free rein to her emotions :
“I was a little overwhelmed and started crying a little bit,” Seidel said. “This is the day you dream of all your life. This is your reason for being as an athlete.”
She probably thought about the whole journey. Before the American selections, she was forced to combine a barista job with another babysitter to get by. All while training with the heavy loads imposed by the high level.
In a recent post for the website from the US delegation, Seidel also spoke about his history with eating disorders. She said she appreciated that athletes ‘ mental health became a real topic of discussion, especially after Naomi Osaka’s outings or again Simone Biles on the subject.
“I would like the takeaway that even someone with mental health issues can be able to compete at the highest level,” she said. “The most important thing is to know how to ask for help and have support all around you. With it you can do amazing things.”