KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A University of Missouri-Kansas City alum is hoping to get a second shot at an Olympic gold medal during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Nixa, Missouri, native Courtney Frerichs has been training for her steeplechase trials in Park City, Utah since the spring. She runs an average of 80 to 85 miles per week at high elevation.
When the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Frerichs said she tried not to stay too focused on it but instead be grateful to have an opportunity.
"Even if it is different from what we imagined it to be, just getting to have competition back — especially international competition — is something to be so excited about," Frerichs said.
After looking back at the last year, Frerichs took away a new appreciation for the sport she loves.
"You know I actually think I really learned a lot last summer and set a lot of non-performance goals that I think helped me become a better athlete, just really learned to fall in love with the process of training again," Frerichs said.
After making the U.S. Olympic team in 2016 and competing in Rio, Frerichs is itching to get onto the Olympic stage.
"I dreamed about going to the Olympics since I was a little girl, and whenever I walked out in the USA uniform it just really hit me that that dream was coming true" Frerichs said.
Frerichs placed 11th in the 3000m steeplechase. She said the experience left her with a new fire to be the best.
In 2018, She won a silver medal at the World Championships. She's ready to take everything she's learned, fight for a spot on Team USA once again and go for the gold.
"Obviously if I walk away knowing I put my best foot forward I’ll be proud, but I hope that puts me in contention for a medal this time around," Frerichs said.
Frerichs said her journey to this point in her career has been anything but what she imagined it would be. She said she couldn't have made it this far without the love and support of her family and friends.
"It’s certainly been quite the journey to this point and you can’t get there alone for sure," Frerichs said.