Race Walking Toward an Olympic Medal
There's no real art to walking, unless you're Patrick Stroupe, who has to keep at least one foot on the ground whenever the Central Methodist star competes as a race walker.
"There was a girl on the team who was a multiple-time All-American and she taught me how to do it," he explained. "I was making fun of her in practice one day, and she said that was pretty good, so they made me do it from there."
The CMU senior is so good he qualified for this weekend's USA Track and Field Championships in Boston. Making nationals is just the first step for Stroupe. He still needs to maintain a certain time to qualify for the Olympic trials. But, given the chance, he said he will chase his Olympic dream.
"If I had the chance to go to the Olympics, I would definitely go. You can't turn that down," he admitted. "But, I've got a lot of work to do before that happens."
A student assistant coach who's helping him get there is Beth Lewis, the All-American Stroupe laughed at a couple of years ago.
"I got my credit card set for that plane ticket to go watch him," Lewis said. "I think it's a very realistic goal. If not 2008, then 2012."
The 2008 games will be in Beijing and the 2012 games in London. Stroupe is listed as one of the top eight race walkers in the U.S.