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Central Ohio Olympic Hopeful Preparing For Upcoming Track And Field Olympic Trials

Olympic hopeful Julia Rizk of Blacklick is preparing for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Debbie Holmes
Olympic hopeful Julia Rizk of Blacklick is preparing for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Central Ohio athlete, Julia Rizk has taken advantage of the delay in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as she works on getting stronger to compete against the world’s top athletes.

“I was fighting through a couple of injuries last year, but I’m back and I’m healthy so I’m happy for the season to start,” Rizk, 24, of Blacklick, said.

The Ohio State graduate and 2019 NCAA mile champion is ready to begin the Olympic trials for the 800-meter race. Track and field events will be held June 18-27 in Eugene, Oregon.

Rizk has been training twice a day, sometimes running, and sometimes weightlifting at a Columbus facility.

“I think putting in that time is super important in the long run,” Rizk said. “To take care of your body and all of that. And then secondly the effort, the mental strength and the physical strength it takes to get through the whole season and then also get to the trials at the end I think is all super important.”

Rizk thinks the extra year to train will not only help her shorten her time in the 800-meter race but will be a boost for everyone else fighting to get to Tokyo.

“There’s so many awesome athletes this year because of COVID and people have decided to train another year, so people are ready to run fast, and they are running fast.”

Rizk spoke to WOSU last year as she trained for what would have been the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At that time, she hoped to race for her father’s native country, Egypt. She explains that strict citizenship laws there would have forced her father to travel with her to Egypt to prove he was born in the country. The process would have taken at least six months to complete. She will compete for the U.S.A. team which she says will be very competitive.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.