POWELL, Ohio – A woman shared her story Thursday after her Olympic dreams fell through.
Jade Riebold’s life has revolved around little else than pole vaulting in the Olympics for the past four years, 10TV’s Glenn McEntyre reported.
“Every day I wake up and I think about going to practice and I think about what I can do to better myself,” Riebold said.
Riebold was on track to qualify for this summer’s games when she and three others were knocked out of contention by the results of a meet that were later called into question, McEntyre reported.
“I was praying that something would happen, but the chance of that was very, very slim,” Riebold said. “Then the night before the competition, something did happen.”
Around midnight on Thursday, 19 hours before the competition, a call was made to allow Riebold and three other girls to compete. She was in South Carolina and was asleep when the call came and did not find out she was in until she woke up Friday morning, the day of the competition.
Riebold and her family scrambled to find a flight from South Carolina to Eugene, Ore. in time. Mother Nature also provided a reprieve, when the competition was rained out and moved to another day, McEntyre reported.
Ultimately, Riebold said that she was not allowed to compete because she was not there on Friday to sign in.
“I was out there in the stands, watching instead of competing,” Riebold said. “It was the worst feeling in the world.”
Vickie Riebold could only watch as her daughter dealt with the news.
“I felt horrible for her, I can’t even imagine how she felt,” Vickie Riebold said. “She should have been out there.”
Jade Riebold and her mother plan to ask USA Track and Field to establish minimum notification times for athletes before competitions.
“I just feel like my dream was kind of taken away from me,” Riebold said. “Every day I prayed before I went to bed that I would be able to be out there on that day and it was taken away from me.”
Riebold said that though her Olympic dreams were lost, she did not lose her determination. She said that she hopes to prevent another athlete from having the same experience.