CU Buff Track and Field alumna Jenny Simpson races her way to Rio Olympic games in the 1500-meters

"Ralphie is a great spirit animal for me..."
Posted at 12:54 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 15:26:47-04

Running is a solitary pursuit.

Nothing Jenny Simpson, a three-time track & field Olympian has done in her career though has been alone.

"The week that I came back from the Olympic trials, my husband and I were just on cloud 9," said Simpson. "I kept turning to him and saying this is the best week of my life." 

The 29-year-old raced her way into her third consecutive Olympic games, after winning the 1500-meters in 4:04.74 at the United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Her first Olympic experience came in Beijing, China in 2008.  Eight years later the thrill of representing her country hasn't faded.

"It really is the opportunity in sport to experience that feeling that what you're doing is greater than yourself," said Simpson.

She's made three trips now to the world's most famous quadrennial summer sporting event, and has never stood atop the Olympic podium. Simpson told 7Sports anchor Jahmai Webster though, she envisions having "the best race" of her life in Rio.

Simpson's the third fastest American ever in the 1500-meters, and to medal she may have to be better. Kenya's Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon is the world leader at 3:56.41 in 2016. The current women's 1500-meter world record holder Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba also could be a factor should Simpson make the final. 

She's broken the four minute barrier in this race three times in her career, posting a career best 3:57.22 in July of 2014. 2016 brought some injuries that slowed her race schedule., but the 2009 Colorado graduate believes that could be a blessing in disguise for her in reaching peak performance in Rio de Janeiro. "I think maybe that happened so I could really be ready at the right time," said Simpson.

She'll miss the opening ceremonies on August 5th, remaining at home in Boulder, Colorado in hopes of maximizing her training days at elevation.

Simpson's first round of 1500-meter races begin on August 12th. 


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