Race Walking Olympic Trials

Race Walking Olympic Trials: 58-Year-Old Grandma’s Inspiring Third Place in 20K Event

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Michelle Rohl, a 58-year-old grandmother from Pennsylvania, finished third at the Race Walking Olympic Trials.

Michelle Rohl, 58, from Wisconsin, was originally a distance walker who turned into a racewalker and has participated from Team USA in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympic Games.

However, around two decades ago, Rohl retired from the difficult sport to homeschool her five children.

Now that all her children are between 18 to 33 years old and she even became a grandmother three months ago, she decided to return to the sport.

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As Rohl competed on June 29 for the 20-kilometer race walk at the U.S. Olympic Trials, she secured third place for herself.

She completed the 20K race in a flat one hour and 42 minutes at Springfield, Oregon, as reported by The Philadelphia Enquirer.

Race Walking Olympic Trials
Top three winners of the event: Image via USATF Facebook

Since the United States has not secured a place in the race-walking category for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, Rohl will not be able to participate in the event.

Rohl was the oldest person to participate in Saturday’s event, but she did not expect to perform as well as she did in her younger days.

To achieve such an amazing feat at her age, she trains hard every day, completing 45 miles per week.

Owing to Achilles Tendon syndrome during her college days, she was forced to change her sport from a distance walker to a race walker.

Although she has suffered several injuries over the years, Rohl remains undeterred. Despite suffering from a concussion last year and injuring her chin during a race in Toronto just three weeks ago, she decided to stay on her feet.

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Race Walking Olympic Trials
Rohl in action: Image via USATF Facebook

Her husband, Michael Rohl, 59, told The Philadelphia Enquirer, that he doesn’t know anyone as mentally tough as his wife.

The Rohls are a simple couple who live a modest lifestyle, and she is glad for the break she took from the track to spend time teaching her children.

Her middle daughter humorously remarked that her mother was a really good athlete, to begin with, took a break due to the children, and has become a great athlete once again, perhaps due to their influence.

As of now, Rohl enjoys being a grandmother as the couple gets pictures of their grandson every day.

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