It was both an impressive performance and the sign of a true champion – after taking ninth in the 5,000 m at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials, 2016 Olympic triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen’s shout-out to her teammates managed to even impress the folks behind the Olympic Games.
“Celebrating others as well as yourself is the mark of a true Olympic champion,” the International Olympic Committee commented on Jorgensen’s Instagram post last nigh after she she celebrated the one-two finish of her teammates Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer.
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Jorgensen is a two-time Olympian as a triathlete. After a running and swimming career at the University of Wisconsin from 2005 to 2009, Jorgensen was recruited by USA Triathlon and had become an Olympian in just a few years. (Somewhere in all that mix she also managed to get a Masters degree in accounting, too.) She finished 38th at the Olympics in London, then went on to win gold in Rio in 2016. She won the 2015 World Triathlon Series thanks to an undefeated WTS season that year, and had a 12-race WTS winning streak going at one point.
After giving birth to son Stanley in 2017, Jorgensen announced that she would be moving from triathlon to running and would try to represent the United States in the marathon in Tokyo, joining the Bowerman Track Club. After heel surgery, though, she found herself unable to recover quickly enough for the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Team Trials, so turned her focus to the track instead, competing in the 5,000 and 10,000 m events.
Making the team will definitely be a stretch – going into the 5,000 m race her personal best (PB) of 15:08.28 was fast enough to qualify for the Games, but was well behind teammates Schweizer (14:26.34) and Cranny (14:48.02). Last night’s race in Eugene, Ore., was extremely hot, which led to slower times. Cranny won the race in 15:27.81 with Schweizer taking second in 15:28.11 and Rachel Schneider grabbing the last Olympic spot in 15:29.36. Jogensen finished in 15:50.62.
Both Cranny and Schweizer are also entered and favoured in the 10,000 m race on Saturday, where Jorgensen will have her second chance to try and get to a third Olympics. Jorgensen heads into that race with a PB of 31:55.68 – to get to Tokyo she’ll have to run 31:25 and finish in the top three.