COLORADO SPRINGS — USA Triathlon athlete, Kevin McDowell recently did great in the Olympic qualifying event in Japan, finishing in 11th place and second American, putting himself in the mix for a discretionary spot but his journey to here hasn’t been easy. Caroline Peters has the story.
Kevin McDowell always knew he wanted to compete in the Olympics. He says growing up as a kid, he would watch the games and imagine himself competing on the world stage.
“Through time and time I realized this isn’t just a dream, but it actually could become a reality and I’m going to say that these last two years is when it’s been really feeling real,” said McDowell.
And with a lot of hard work, he has been able to make his dreams a reality. The star athlete decided at the age of 12 that triathlons were his go-to sport and where he felt the most competitive. He has been able to use his childhood dream to motivate him over the years.
“And the more and more I kept getting involved in racing, the better and better I kept doing. And I started racing in local races, and state races, then Midwest area races, national races, then I qualified for world teams so I was racing internationally as I got older, then it kind of just took me to here,” said McDowell.
But he did hit a rough patch. In 2016, Kevin fell just short of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio, and he considered bringing his career to an end. He says he was 24 years old at the time and he saw his friends started to get married and move on with their lives. He wasn’t sure if he should continue chasing his dream or follow the same path as his friends. Still, he persevered.
“Boy am I glad I did because things really started to turn around and now it’s like I’m actually making a career out of this and I’m very happy that I was helped to stick it out and not compare it to where my “normal friends per se are,” said McDowell.
Kevin says he is glad he stuck it out and he’s feeling hopeful he will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics and representing Colorado Springs this summer.