Molly Seidel’s historic bronze medal in the women’s marathon in Tokyo was the result of a unique race strategy.
“I just wanted to come out… and stick my nose where it didn’t belong,” Seidel said after the race. “And see what I could come away with. And I guess that’s a medal.”
Molly Seidel won a surprise bronze medal in today’s #TokyoOlympics marathon. Watching her watch her family celebrate her from Wisconsin was just 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/LArNpTwiqb— Fast Women (@fast_women) August 7, 2021
Molly Seidel won a surprise bronze medal in today’s #TokyoOlympics marathon. Watching her watch her family celebrate her from Wisconsin was just 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/LArNpTwiqb
In just her third marathon ever, the conditions were brutal. Not only was the race moved to Sapporo from Tokyo, it was also scheduled to start at 6 a.m. because of a record heat wave. But Seidel welcomed the 78 degrees Fahrenheit temperature alongside the 82 percent humidity.
“Truthfully, I wanted it as hard as possible,” she said after clinching bronze. “I think I thrive off a little bit of adversity.”
Seidel cited her performance during a hilly Olympics trials, when, in her first-ever marathon, she placed second and secured a spot on Team USA.
“When the going gets tough, that’s my strong suit.”
Her strong suit made history at the Tokyo Olympics, as Seidel became just the third American woman after Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson to medal in the marathon at the Olympics.
Seidel says her coach told her at the last minute to bring her medal uniform to the race. Seidel didn’t think she would need it. Turns out, she proved everyone wrong — even herself.