For me, the pinnacle of athletic achievement is representing your country in the Olympics. Olympians are put through a qualifying process that has often left me speechless. Two Summers ago I met gymnast Samantha Peszek while working at a sports marketing company a couple years ago as she was preparing for her final season with the UCLA Bruins. She was training and coming back from an Achilles injury. Apart from winning a Silver Medal in Beijing, she was already an NCAA National Champion for the Bruins, and I wondered what made her want to come back and compete on a fifth-year of eligibility when she seemingly had nothing else to prove.
In today’s episode we talk with Sam in the first of a series of special Olympic Podcasts leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We discuss her upbringing (5:00), the process to making the Olympics (11:00), her experience during the Olympics (14:00), her life after the Olympics (17:00), why she chose UCLA over other colleges (20:00), misconceptions of the sport (27:00) and much more.
Check out more from Samantha on Twitter (@samanthapeszek) and Instagram (@samanthapeszek), and she runs a fitness Instagram account with fellow former Olympian, Alicia Sacramone Quinn (@asaq_3) you can follow called @thegympire.
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