PARK CITY, Utah, — Keeping it classy, when Keegan Swenson, 26, narrowly missed out on making the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team on Thursday, the first thing he did was congratulate his USA teammate who did, showing a strength-in-character that surprised nobody in his vast sphere of influence. Swenson is from Park City, lives in Heber and has traveled the world doing what he loves for the past few years representing Team USA in mountain biking.
“Sounds a bit callous but, ‘Nobody cares, work harder” is my favorite quote. For me, it basically just means that there are no excuses or no replacement for hard work. I think that really applies to anything that you want in life, work, sports, or otherwise.” He said in a statement to USA Cycling.
While he trains alongside, travels with and roots for other Parkite bikers who did make the Olympic team, Swenson has already wiped any proverbial dirt off his shoulder and is back on his bike competing in Vail, CO this week. He had been named to the Olympic Long Team for mountain biking in the season run-up to Team Trials.
As an Elite Men’s National Team member and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Long Team member he was vying for one of two thought spots on the Tokyo team. Come to find out, along with the rest of the world that only one spot ended up being offered to the United States for men’s mountain biking. Being on the Olympic Long Team for an athlete is a little like being on the Olympic Long Team for a bid city like Salt Lake City. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has tagged Salt Lake City to be the next city in the United States to host a Winter Games IF, and only if, a spot becomes available.
It’s virtually unpredictable to know how many athletes, of any gender, representing any nation, in any sport are going to be offered a spot to compete at any Olympic Games. Those finite numbers are determined as the competitions go forth throughout the world leading up to the Games, summer or winter, respectively (USA Cycling selection criteria). Meaning an athlete like Swenson can make or exceed every single goal of his own, of his coaches, and of team administrators only then to be shut out of an opportunity to fulfill his Olympic dreams by no fault of his own.
It’s a good thing these moments aren’t once-in-a-lifetime opportunities because the wheels of Olympic cycles are like the wheels of bicycles and they come back around before you know it.
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