Former Hawkeye Erik Sowinski still training for a chance at the Olympics

Published: May. 2, 2020 at 11:27 PM CDT
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Erik Sowinski came very close to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, but fell short in the 800 meter run at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. It's still fresh in the former Hawkeye's mind.

"That hurt and that's kind of stuck with me a lot," Sowinski said. "I've been competitive every year on the international scene since 2012. So just knowing that that competitive fire is still there, the skill's still there, I think that I would've had a hard time giving up and not seeing what I can do in an Olympic year."

But just like all events and sports leagues, the Olympics have been postponed until 2021 because of COVID-19. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials won't happen until June of 2021.

Sowinski is still training, but even that has been an adjustment. He normally trains at the University of Iowa, but the facilities are currently closed. He's able to do some training at home. He also uses an open track at a local high school and trains on any hill he can find.

"You just make do with what you have," Sowinski said. "At the end of the day, you can't look at it as a detriment because then you're putting yourself behind the 8-ball like that."

The timeline's been pushed back, but Sowinski's goal remains the same.

"I've met so many people through running," he said. "I've gotten to visit so many incredible places. Just remembering that and what it's led towards, and the Olympics would be the goal."