Tokyo Olympics: at 41, Malindi Elmore transplanted on the track



“I pinched myself to believe it. “ When she learns, in June 2021, that she will be traveling to Tokyo, Malindi Elmore is jubilant on Twitter, saying she is surprised at what is happening to her. Indeed: here she is at 41, getting ready to relive an Olympic adventure, 17 years after her first experience under the sign of the rings. The Canadian thus made a somewhat crazy dream come true, a project developed a few months earlier on unexpected bases.

On the verge of burnout

It must be said that she no longer thought of running after much. The consecration of the Games, she had known at the age of 24, in 2004 in Athens, with a 1,500m sufficiently frustrating (series failure) to want to come back. But despite the sacrifices and the enormous efforts made, it missed the boat in Beijing and then in London. On the verge of burn-out then, she puts away the tips, to start a family.

Her first boy was born in 2014, but the need to run quickly took hold of her. First of all for fun, then for personal challenges. And not the least. Run very well, but why not swim and pedal too? On to the triathlon. She offers herself three years of this diet, before a second pregnancy. With two children, the triathlon and its extended training becomes too time-consuming. She decides to try her hand at the marathon.

Canada’s record

First race in early 2019, and astonishment. She’s having a great time. What titillates the competitor who still sleeps in her. “And why not try the Olympic minima” ? It is said in the tone of the joke, but with her husband, who develops his training, the idea is gaining ground. In the fall of 2020, in the Houston marathon, she greatly exceeded the goal: she broke the Canadian women’s record for the distance in 2 h 24 min and 50 s.

Everything then follows. Here she is selected to represent her country in Tokyo. “I think having a family makes me a better athlete, she comments. I have to be much more disciplined to design and optimize my preparation. “ Its chronometric performance promises to be around the 15e place in Japan. She would like to enter the Top 10. And now that she transplanted at the Games, never stop: “It’s far, but I hope I could come back to Paris in 2024 and take the children with me.”

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