2016 Olympic Trials Results
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Morgan Uceny Adidas
In Her Words
(listen to Morgan’s full audio below)
This photo is me trying to put on a brave face. After a tough, tough finish just a few minutes before I finished fifth in the fifteen hundred and during the race in the last 400 meters, I had positioned myself well. I was in second place and, you know, the legs were feeling good. And I had all the positive reinforcement of making the Olympic team.
And then, as happens so often in the last 100 to 150 meters, I got passed.
And then sometimes, you know when you just get passed, whether you want to or not, it just takes a little bit of your energy away and all of a sudden the legs and the body just felt like it was shutting down. And it was anything I could do just to keep moving forward.
So I went from feeling like the highest high of that I was about to make my second Olympic team to just the lowest low of realizing that there were no extra gears and that I just had nothing left just to get to the line.
And it was bittersweet.
I think this photo you have, like in order to kind of understand why there’s even a little bit of a smile in a photo is to go back to four years prior. At 2012, when I had made my first Olympic team and, you know, did really well advance to the final was in in the mix in a great position until the bell when I suffered a fall, which has was a common occurrence in my racing career.
So that instance of that fall just affected the next four year training cycle of my life. You know, I physically suffered some injuries and mentally just really could not shake what had happened and kind of felt this feeling of having failed at the Olympics. I carried that with me for several years, it really took me a long time to get back to where I felt like I was racing at the level where I had been. And I would say really, it wasn’t until 2016. One of the races I had raced right before the 2016 Olympic trials, I had won the 1500m and got the Olympic standard.
And it was finally I was like, oh, I had turned a corner. And I really felt that going into the Olympics that I was I’d put myself finally in a good position to make the team. So that’s where. After really clawing my way back to some fitness and some clarity mentally, even though I finished fifth in this race and it was hard and, you know, I always want to try to do my best, not only for me, but for my coaches and my family and my boyfriend at the time who is now my husband.
So just trying to, you know, make everybody proud.
That is always, I think, the hardest part of not succeeding. So even though I felt there was a little bit of a let down, I was really proud of myself for, you know, getting fit, making the final, running the rounds and just showing that I could bounce back from some of those earlier hardships. So that’s where the bittersweet comes in and even now, you know, it’s years later and I even still feel.
I get teared up when I think about missed opportunities and things like that.
But at the end of the day. I’m so fortunate that I made that 2012 Olympic team and I will always be an Olympian and now it’s really fun to be on the outside as a retired athlete and just, you know, still seeing so many successful and determined young men and women just, you know, fighting tooth and nail to reach their dreams.
And I’m just now happy to be rooting on the other side and grateful for all the experiences that track and field gave me.