Seven Wisconsin Athletes Make U.S. Olympic Team

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building with Tokyo 2020 Olympics poster. Photo by Ftaaffe, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building with Tokyo 2020 Olympics poster. Photo by Ftaaffe, (CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Seven Team USA athletes volition correspond Wisconsin astatine the Tokyo Olympics successful the coming weeks successful events including trap shooting, way and field, rowing and sailing.

Alie Rusher, for example, volition beryllium representing Team USA successful the quadruple sculls rowing event. She was calved successful London and raised successful Glenview, Illinois, but presently she calls West Bend, Wisconsin location aft having visited the area each summer.

“I spent each my summers determination doing, similar sailing connected the section water and hanging retired with my cousins,” said Rusher. “Then erstwhile I went to college, my parents built a location there.”

Being an Olympian runs successful the family. Rusher’s parents were Olympic rowers themselves successful 1988 and 1992, taking location metallic and bronze medals successful the process.

“We had posters of the Olympics framed successful our hallway and the duffel bags we utilized were my parents’ aged bags successful the Olympics,” said Rusher. “It was conscionable thing I wanted to bash arsenic a small kid due to the fact that you know, if you respect your parents, like, you privation to bash what they did.”

Rusher, astatine her parents’ encouragement, took up aggregate sports to make her diversion skills earlier trying rowing successful precocious school.

“Rowing is besides thing that you tin get into aboriginal successful life,” said Rusher. “As agelong arsenic you are diversion and fit, you tin truly succeed.”

The athletics takes a assortment of forms at the Olympics, ranging from single-person boats to eight-member teams.

Rusher said the quadruple sculls lawsuit requires a premix of spot and finesse.

“The biggest situation has been staying ace airy and quick, yet besides uncovering a mode to adhd my powerfulness to the changeable due to the fact that the boat’s moving truthful fast,” said Rusher. “It’s decidedly amusive to beryllium successful a squad vessel versus the single, which I was successful astir of the year. I decidedly provender disconnected the vigor of different people.”

Rusher said the pandemic gave her an other twelvemonth to train, allowing her to enactment with Olympian rowers past and present.

“I was benignant of ever of the mindset that if I wanted to spell to the Olympics, nary substance however agelong it would take, arsenic agelong arsenic I kept chipping distant astatine it, I could get there,” said Rusher.

She said she’s looking guardant to being connected what she calls the large signifier for the archetypal time.

“It’s conscionable astonishing to locomotion astir and spot each the antithetic countries and each the antithetic athletes successful 1 place,” said Rusher. “It seems similar a dream, actually, but it’s reality.”

She said it has the imaginable to beryllium 1 of the champion rowing experiences she ever had. And she plans to proceed rowing for the adjacent Olympic cycle.

Meanwhile, Madelynn Bernau, who grew up successful Racine County, volition correspond Team USA arsenic a trap shooter.

She started people shooting erstwhile she was 12 years old. She said erstwhile she was younger she had nary involvement successful being competitory successful it, but she secured her spot connected the Olympic squad successful March of past year.

“It’s inactive hard to judge that I really americium 1 of those athletes and present athletes look up to me,” said Bernau.

Bernau said taking portion successful the Olympics is much breathtaking than it is nerve-wracking.

“I bash admit radical coming up to maine and wanting to larn from my experiences and maine being capable to springiness my idiosyncratic you know, accusation and cognition to them. I truly bash admit that,” said Bernau. “But I’ve ne'er been, like, an attraction seeker. I’m not wanting to basal retired successful a crowd.”

Bernau said earlier being chosen for the Olympics, she considered herself an underdog successful the sport.

“I ne'er made, like, apical 3 retired of each the girls successful the federation until the Olympic trials, and past it was benignant of similar everything just, not spiraled retired of control, but it was similar a fast-forward button,” said Bernau. “The full twelvemonth and a fractional oregon a twelvemonth that we’ve really been fixed to hole has really helped maine a lot, you know, turn and larn arsenic an athlete.”

She said she’s excited, adjacent if the Olympics look antithetic this twelvemonth due to the fact that of the pandemic.

“We’re benignant of connected way to getting backmost to normal,” said Bernau. “It’s conscionable that small kindle of hope, I think, that radical need, you know, conscionable to support pushing done and support surviving their lives, and eventually, we’re conscionable going to get done this.”

COVID-19 concerns meant the games were postponed from past year. Even now, with Japan in a authorities of emergency, events volition beryllium closed to spectators.

The opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics are Friday. The games proceed done Aug. 8.

Listen to the WPR study here.

Wisconsin Athletes Ready To Represent Team USA At The Olympics was primitively published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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