Delayed dreams: Badger athletes continue to prepare for Olympics

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 10:05 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - From Lake Shore trail to the backyard, and the town pool, you may come across some of our nation's top athletes - like 2018 national champion wrestler, Seth Gross who's pursuing a dream that has been delayed.

“Since I was a little kid, it’s always been Olympic championship,” says Olympic hopeful wrestler, Seth Gross.

Training to represent Team USA at 57 kilograms in Tokyo, finding wrestling mats or a training partner are out of the question. For now, it’s just cardio, and home workouts.

“I going control the things that I can control and you know I can control my diet, I can control my cardio. I can control my attitude towards things,” Gross says.

As for Verona native Beata Nelson and fellow swimmer Allyson McHugh, they own four national championships between the two of them. Until recently, felt like fish out of water.

“We went to a period of like straight quarantine. There was no pool availability, there was no pools open. Everything was closed,” says Beata Nelson, an Olympic hopeful swimmer

“We found some pool space at the pool I grew up at which is real exciting,” says Nelson.

Alissa Niggeman is preparing for the 3k steeple chase. Madison's own Amy Davis for the 10,000 meter. Running comes easy for the All-Americans.

“People like to over think it and, for the most part it’s just eating as healthy as you can given the circumstances, getting creative,” Niggeman says.

Like converting their driveway to a outdoor house of iron.

“The past four months have been weird. I don’t really think there’s a way to describe it and full of unknowns and full of uncertainties. Really learning what it means to adapt,” Olympic hopeful runner Amy Davis, says.

“I feel like in some ways I’ve thrived a little bit but also sometimes it feels like I’m trying to survive,” Niggeman says.

Waiting to fulfill their dreams, these elite athletes have also taken the time to refocus their minds.

"What is the purpose? What gets me up every morning and I think it was the first time that I said I want to make an Olympic team. And I think that was the first time I said it out loud and that's been the driving force behind everything," says Olympic hopeful swimmer Allyson McHugh.

Five athletes all with one common goal, representing the United States and the motion W, on their sports’ biggest stage.

“It’s always a dream to have that USA flag wrapped around me and have that gold medal around my neck,” said Gross.

“If I carry around that flag, that’s what it’s about. It’s about the people that got me to that point. It’s about the gifts that I received and I restored it,” says Davis.

“I want to be able to stand with the flag and feel that pride of knowing I get to represent my country at the highest possible level,” says Nelson.

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