Crested Butte Olympian Emma Coburn
Crested Butte Colorado is a special place with special people. One of those is Emma Coburn. She came and spoke to our local Crested Butte Rotary Club and shared many great stories about her journey.
Emma Coburn grew up in Crested Butte and was a star athlete in high school competing in basketball, hockey, track, and cross country.
The track at the high school here in Crested Butte is not regulation. It is not ¼ of a mile and the surface is asphalt. Yet this is where a young girl trained who went on to become a champion.
She became a Champion
Who would know she would a Colorado state champion, a NCAA champion, a multiple winner at the US Outdoor Track and Field Championships, a multiple winner at the US Olympic trials, and break the American Record for the 3,000 meter steeplechase three times, and become a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics!
In 2007 she signed up to compete in the 800 meter race at the During the Great Southwestern Classic track meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This meet hosts the top high school athletes from around the country, and the world. This was a long drive and so her father suggested she also sign up for another event. She had never run the steeplechase, but decided to appease her dad and entered to run in the 2,000 meter steeplechase.
The 2,000 meters steeplechase has 18 fixed barriers and 5 water jumps. She was scared. She had never run this event before. She was scared she may have trouble clearing all the barriers. Did not know how hard it would be to land and run through the water and maintain speed. Nor the challenges of the constant bumping and jostling from competitors, or worse getting bottlenecked or tripped up around the barriers and water jumps.
A Crested Butte Celebrity
Now a celebrity, Emma Coburn said she is proud of being from Crested Butte and able to represent Crested Butte, The University of Colorado, and the USA. She told the story of standing on the podium to receive her bronze medal – and to see the flag raised because of her accomplishments. There was not a dry eye in the crowd as she told us the pride she felt for the opportunities she has had, and the respect she felt for those who have sacrificed to defend and protect all of our freedoms.
All the kids in Crested Butte are in awe of Emma. She routinely congratulates her competitors after each race. She recently visited the Crested Butte Community school to visit the kids and teachers and coaches. She is generous with her time telling encouraging stories, signing autographs and posing for photos. When our daughter Lindsay ran in the state track meet in high school she ran in a pair of Emma’s old track cleats – she was so excited to wear them.
Crested Butte is a special place
Yes Crested Butte is a special place, and the community made up of genuine people is a big reason why. It is super cool to have local kids like Emma Coburn grow up here, and then go on to compete on the world stage who never forget their roots, and represent Crested Butte and this great country with pride.
New Balance is one of Emma Coburn’s sponsors and created special steeplechase shoes Emma used in the Olympics. For more info on Emma Coburn visit: http://www.emmacoburn.com
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