Former Bison lives Olympic Dream(WDAY TV) -- We're now 5 days away from the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. NDSU will be represented by All-American track and field standout Amanda Smock, formerly Thieschafer, the only triple jumper for Team USA. Here's a look at her very special journey to London.
By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY
(WDAY TV) -- We're now 5 days away from the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. NDSU will be represented by All-American track and field standout Amanda Smock, formerly Thieschafer, the only triple jumper for Team USA. Here's a look at her very special journey to London.
It's every parents dream, to see their child succeed. For Beth Thieschafer,
that dream came true when her daughter Amanda, qualified for the U.S. Olympic team.
Beth: "Seeing your daughter on the top of the victory stand at the Olympic trials. Words just can't explain how amazing it was."
Amanda's olympic dream began here in her hometown of Melrose, Minnesota. Where as a young girl she wasn't thinking about jumping, but instead developing a passion for gymnastics.
Amanda: "Yeah, I had dreamt about being an Olympian from the time I was young. But, at that time. I was going to follow in Nadia Komonichi's footsteps and be an Olympic gymnast."
Amanda's passion for gymnastics came from her father Glen who coached the sport in Melrose.
Beth: "Amanda was very close with her father and they got to share an extra special bond because he got to coach her as an athlete."
Amanda: "He believed in me more than anybody ever did. He was always the person telling me that I could do this."
In 2008, with her father, Glen battling esophageal cancer, Amanda finished 5th at the olympic trials, and missed qualifying for team USA.
Her Dad, who attended that meet, would pass away one year later, but left behind her motivation for 2012.
Amanda: "He gave the credential to me, except he had erased off where it said 2008 and he wrote on their 2012. The year 2012 got closer and it seemed kind of eery and kind of funny. Then, I thought wow! This is kind of cool that he had this little premonition for me."
And even though he won't be there physically, Amanda says her Dad will still be the last person she talks with before making the jumps in London.
Amanda: "It's kind of a routine of mine every time I step on the runway in the back. I say a little prayer and he is a part of that prayer. And I just ask God and him to be with me on my jumps."
A prayer, a jump, all part of an Olympic dream.
To make things even sweeter for Amanda, she'll spend her birthday at the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday. Tomorrow night, we'll take a look at her path from NDSU to becoming an Olympian.