DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Miami Valley has its fair share of hardware and Olympic heroes, but what happens after those golden moments?
“I’m feeling for the athletes because I can remember 100 days out, 50 days out, 20 days out. We leave tomorrow,” said Kayla Harrison.
It wasn’t long ago Kayla Harrison was counting the days until the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The nation watched as the Middletown product won the gold in women’s half-heavyweight judo.
“It’s amazing what a mind can overcome when it’s focused.”
A bigger feat winning the gold after discovering she dislocated her knee months earlier.
“He told me that my knee had been dislocated for a year and I didn’t know it. The only way to fix it was to reconstruct it.”
Harrison is now recovering after surgery, still training to compete in 2016 when the Olympic games head to Rio de Janeiro.
This year’s Winter Games hold a special place for another Miami Valley athlete.
“Unfortunately, we got the bronze. I can’t complain about winning a medal but hopefully this year we’ll come home with the gold,” said Kristin King.
Kristin King, now Kristin Wright, will be watching her former teammates compete in women’s ice hockey.
The Piqua native was part of the team that won bronze in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.
She now spends her days in Browns Summit, North Carolina.
Aside from the obvious cheers for the US hockey team, she’s got her eyes set on a few other events.
“I like the fast sports. Skeleton is nice. I don’t think I’d ever try skeleton going 80 miles per hour going headfirst down the bobsled track but that’s a crazy sport.”
But nothing compares to the experience of competing for your country among the best.
“Everytime you hear your national anthem, it’s the best feeling ever.”
“I mean, nothing compares to competing and walking in for the opening ceremonies and representing your country.