Olympic medalist said opponents were shocked she finished the marathon because she was having “too much fun at the hotel”


Molly Seidel crosses the finish line at the Tokyo Olympics. AP Photo / Shuji Kajiyama

  • No one expected Molly Seidel to step onto the marathon podium at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

  • The 27-year-old American star won bronze in the third marathon of his career.

  • Seidel said Insider’s opponents were shocked that she finished because she had “had too much fun at the hotel.”

Molly Seidel defied expectations at the Tokyo Olympics, and boy, did she have fun with that.

The 27-year-old American star won a bronze medal in the women’s marathon at this summer’s Games, finishing only the third marathon of her career when she crossed the finish line in Sapporo, Japan. Few expected Seidel to qualify for Tokyo when she lined up for the US Olympic qualifiers in February 2020. Even fewer believed she would break into the world’s most competitive stage.

Seidel. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The main among the skeptics were Seidel’s opponents at the games. They had no doubts about her abilities – she won four National Championships over shorter distances during her NCAA career at the University of Notre Dame. But her calm demeanor and goofy antics alongside her trainer and best friend Jon Green have suggested she may be a less than serious threat to a podium spot.

“Frankly, we were just fucking the whole time,” Seidel told Insider. “We were looking at hotel stuff with wide eyes. Everyone probably thought we were just the two absolute biggest mess out there. “

“I was actually chatting with the British team afterwards and they were like, ‘Honestly, we were wondering if you were even going to finish the thing, because you were having too much fun at the hotel. -she adds.

It’s part of Seidel’s strategy. As a person living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), she says she takes “everything too seriously”. She must protect herself by running.

Molly Seidel (left) runs alongside her trainer, Jon Green.

Seidel (left) runs alongside his trainer, Jon Green, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. REUTERS / Brian Snyder

Spending time on the amateur running scene in Boston, where she turned pro after college, allowed her to do just that. Spending time with talented runners who spend their days working as nurses, lawyers, government employees or professionals has helped Seidel recognize that “running doesn’t have to be your life, but it can always be a part of it. important in your life ”.

This change of mind taught her “to have a better relationship with my race, to respect it for what it was and to be able to have fun with it”.

“On the contrary, that kind of mentality has helped me more at this level now, especially before the Olympics,” said Seidel. “It’s the height of the sport, so it’s incredibly stressful. The whole situation we had in Tokyo was stressful in every way: being in quarantine, being tested daily for COVID, not knowing whether or not you were going to be in line. “

Molly Seidel.

Seidel runs the 2020 London Marathon. Richard Heathcote / Pool via AP

“And so, to be able to have this slightly looser attachment to [the sport], or just appreciate it for what it is… That’s when I do my best, ”she added.

She takes a similar approach for the New York City Marathon this fall. She is realistic in the sense that she knows that the turnaround from the Olympics to the iconic race through the five boroughs of the Big Apple is not trivial. And in general, she says her goals are “less based on place or time and more based on effort”, so she will be happy as long as she does “the best I can.”

“When I finish a marathon and feel like I’ve really gone to the wall – put everything in place and run to the best of my ability – anywhere I can be pretty happy with that. “said Seidel. “And I feel like that’s the best way for me to approach it mentally. This is how I approached my last three marathons.

Read the original article on Insider

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