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Olympic Athletes Speak On Progress, Road To Top Of Sport

Jun 13, 2024, 2:35 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – Progress in sports isn’t as straightforward as most people make it out to be.

It’s easy to assume that athletes can be better than they were last year or even yesterday. But, it doesn’t always work out like that.

Olympians Speak On Athletes Making Progress

American runner Gabby Thomas explained that it is possible to push through regression and still make progress in the long term.

“Progress is not linear for me,” Thomas said. “I understand there will be ups and downs but as long as I’m trending in an upwards direction, that’s progress.”

Thomas has a perfect example of this in her career.

In the 2021 Olympic Trials, she posted the second-fastest 200-meter time ever at 21.61 seconds. Thomas had a slower time at the Tokyo Games and finished with a bronze medal.

If she had run the same time as she did at the trials, she would’ve secured a silver medal and been within a tenth of a second for gold.

Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long shared a similar sentiment as Thomas.

She said that every day can’t be the best day. All an athlete can do is put in the work to put themselves in the best position to succeed.

“The most important thing for me is showing up, finishing the workout, and understanding that not every day is going to be perfect,” Long said.

This idea of progress can go far beyond sports.

Hard work and consistency often result in improvement. But, it isn’t guaranteed.

As long as you are satisfied with the work you put in, the rest will come with time.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Olympic Athletes Speak On Progress, Road To Top Of Sport