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Olympic Sprinter Kenny Bednarek Recalls Ditching His ‘First Love’ in High School to Pursue a Track and Field Career

Rahul Goutam Hoom

Olympic Sprinter Kenny Bednarek Recalls Ditching His ‘First Love’ in High School to Pursue a Track and Field Career

Athletes have to make several sacrifices and become disciplined from a very young age in order to become successful. Kenny Bednarek, who secured a world lead, meet record, and personal best in the Doha Diamond League’s 200-meter sprint a few days ago, has a similar story. To a surprise, Track and Field was not even Bednarek’s first choice of sport.

In the Journey to Gold Zone Podcast, which can be watched on USATF’s official YouTube channel, the American track athlete discusses his childhood memories and his experience running cross-country races.

However, a mistake he made as a youngster caused his mother to ground him for a long period, and he lost touch with the sport. The athlete also recalls that he continued to attempt various sports, stating:

“I got out of cross country and then I solely just focused on track and football and you know football was my first love.”

Bednarek played a lot of football during his junior and senior years at Rice Lake. However, the athlete’s love for the sport spread to track and field because he had another connection to it.

Every time he performed on the track, he was pleased, and he mentioned how much fun he had with his companions. So he continued to participate in track events until high school. However, the athlete realized that he has a lot of potential in himself if he sincerely attempts to compete at the upper levels of the sport, and the rest is history.

Bednarek has always been a steady athlete due to his performance, rarely missing a track event when he has previously registered. His consistency drew the attention of an American track icon, who referred to him as an underrated athlete.

Michael Johnson Appreciates Kenny Bednarek’s 200-meter Form

While the track community solely admires athletes who win gold medals in any category, Michael Johnson emphasizes the importance of recognizing those who, while not winning gold medals, still perform well in track meets, including podium finishes.

After Kenny Bednarek took the global lead for this Olympic season, the four-time Olympic gold champion was in awe of him, as Johnson had been analyzing his performance for some time. He even highlights Bednarek’s silver medals from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Championships. Johnson simply wants the track community to acknowledge and cheer for individuals who routinely represent Team USA at track meets, as well as respect them.

About the author

Rahul Goutam Hoom

Rahul Goutam Hoom


Rahul is a US Sports Journalist at The SportsRush. Since 2022, he has covered many American sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby and other important events. Rahul's skill sets begins with the lightning-fast skating of Connor McDavid and continues with the unique surfing stints of Jamie O'Brien. When he is not busy penning excellent pieces for his readers, you can find him glued to his gaming laptop, either ranking up in Valorant or taking a shot at Honkai Star Rail.

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