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Hartland native Molly Seidel talks about Olympic journey on TODAY Show

Posted at 11:21 AM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 13:26:19-04

Hartland native and Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel is back in the United States after a historic marathon run. Seidel is now just the third American woman to medal in the Olympic marathon and she did it in just her third ever marathon.

Just a few hours after returning to her home in Arizona, Seidel appeared on the Today Show to talk about her journey to, and at, the Tokyo Olympics.

"I truly love it even though it's hard, it's long, it's grueling. I run upwards of 130 miles per week. I just love every part about this race," Seidel said.

But she faced some setbacks on her way to the Olympic podium. On the Today Show, she opened up about her struggles with an eating disorder and OCD.

"In 2016 I was really struggling with mental health and it had exacted this huge toll on my body. I couldn't compete any more. So, I had to make a really difficult decision to go into treatment for that. And over the last five years I've worked really, really hard to get my mental health to where I compete at the highest level," she said.

And like all athletes in these Olympic games, Seidel had to deal with the challenge of her family cheering her on from across an ocean. But she said her mom shared a prayer with her the night before, which helped her get across the finish line in third place.

"She pray it all the time, really in times of difficulty or times of need. And with about four miles to go in that race, when i was sitting around third, fourth place when I didn't know whether or not I would medal, I just started mouthing it to myself."

Seidel also shared her plan to run in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

"I definitely hope so! American distance running is in such an amazing place right now. Just being able to go out and compete for that team for Paris 2024 is going to be very competitive," she said. "I'll keep running marathons between now and then, and that's going to be my biggest goal now to come back and try to do some great things on the world stage again.

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