While the announcers on NBC fixated on Kara Goucher’s age and repeatedly confused Galen Rupp with Ryan Hall, many other Olympic Trials stories ripe for the telling were unfolding, stories like Chris Barnicle’s, the guy who bills himself as the World’s Fastest Stoner, which we have all now heard. Today, I’m going to share another one, the story of the young woman in the tutu who qualified for the Trials but didn’t show; the story of 22 year-old Stephanie Telek.
While others worked years towards qualifying, Stephanie almost literally accidentally qualified. She never competed in high school or college and only took up running for stress relief and fun, which is one of the reasons for the tutu. While others gave her tutu the side-eye at the starting line, they soon gave her respect as she worked her way up to a personal best of 2:44:40 at the 2014 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. The Trials were not even on her radar screen, as she was too busy worrying about things like transitioning to vet school, but on December 11, 2015, the tutu chick found herself an Olympic Trials Qualifier.
Although ecstatic to learn of her achievement, the Trials were not Stephanie’s end goal and with such short notice and, in her words,”not enough time to regain that shape from my qualifying race,” she passed on bringing her tutu to the streets of L.A. Instead, she focused on adjusting to her transition from Ohio State undergrad to UC Davis veterinary medicine student. Read more >>