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Hometown athlete seeks redemption for the Olympics

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) – A girl initially from Christiansburg is only one step away from making all of it the way in which to the Olympics. She performed soccer and ran observe in highschool, then continued to run at Roanoke Faculty after however didn’t attain Olympic speeds till now.

Now at age 30, Carmen Graves sits subsequent to her husband and working coach Sean Stetler, and says she’d have it no different means.

“He believed in me after I couldn’t imagine in myself,” Graves mentioned.

Final time she made it this far, she walked a tremendous line of being very match and injured with plantar fasciitis – making it painful to even stroll.

“I went into the trials with an damage, which wasn’t preferrred,” Graves mentioned. “I wished to do it anyway. It wasn’t the second I had hoped it will be. This yr is certainly totally different.”

Graves runs the steeplechase occasion, loaded with boundaries that don’t transfer when touched and have water to leap over every lap. The water received her on final week’s qualifying race to get her thus far, and though she fell, she nonetheless certified for the Olympic trials.

“It was nice to see her overcome a lot over the previous few years and proper when she appeared like she was going to crush it she falls, I type of panicked, however she popped proper again up and sprinted via to the end. It was an enormous success,” Stetler mentioned.

If it weren’t for the pandemic, Graves would probably not be right here.

“For me it was truly a blessing as a result of I actually wasn’t in a great place with coaching and it type of gave me a complete further yr to get in that place,” she mentioned.

Graves’ coaching isn’t full time. The couple coaches observe collectively in Colorado after a full day of instructing in class. It’s in spite of everything of that when she trains.

“Generally when you find yourself doing different issues and dwelling your life, actually nice stuff can nonetheless occur,” Stetler mentioned.

Graves’ subsequent race is June 20. If she qualifies once more then, finals are on June 24 in Oregon earlier than going to the Olympics.

“I used to get tremendous nervous for this stuff and now I’m identical to, if I’ve it I’ve it, if I don’t, I don’t,” Graves mentioned. “It’s all in regards to the expertise. I’m simply excited.”

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