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Vancouver Olympian thriving in quarantine, focused on Tokyo Games

A three-time Olympian and American record holder in the javelin throw, Kara Winger is focused on qualifying for the Olympics one more time.

PORTLAND, Ore. — This is it for Kara Winger.

A three-time Olympian and American record holder in the javelin throw, she's focused on qualifying for the Olympics one more time.

"I plan on it being my last Olympics, so no holds barred, a medal would be amazing," said Winger from her home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Performing on the day is something I finally feel like I'm learning in these last couple of seasons and that gets me really excited for whenever Tokyo 2021 happens."

With sports on hold, Winger remains positive. She's embracing the quarantine life.

"I feel uniquely suited to quarantine. My personality is such that I'm happy to be at home," she said.

Along with her husband Russ and dog Maddie, working from home hasn't been a problem.

"I was able to borrow equipment from the Olympic and Paralympic training center here in town and I haven't really missed a beat. I'm lucky my sport takes place outside and I can go find a field to throw javelin when I need to," said Winger. "I really sympathize with the indoor athletes who need specific equipment and can't get it, but I'm doing fine and thriving in quarantine."

At 34, she's ready to go. Being from the Pacific Northwest has its advantages when it comes to training.

"The biggest hurdle for an older athlete is the lack of recovery modalities. I'm not getting massages. I use the pool a lot for recovery and that's been a really important part of my training to stay healthy, so not having that stuff makes the wear and tear on your body throwing the javelin a little big more scary," said Winger.  

"We're staying on grass right now to make the impact a little bit less on all of the joints. Growing up in Washington, there are multiple meets on grass runways, so it kind of feels like home. A real full circle story and I actually started my 2020 training on Skyview's track in December, so I've been kind of having a really nostalgic year," she said.

She was introduced to the sport and fell in love with it at Skyview High School. Vancouver is where she calls home and if the track and field season is canceled, expect a lot more trips home.

"I miss it. There's nothing like a Pacific Northwest summer and if I get the chance to kind of reset in that place, that is my home. It would be really really fun. It's always on my mind, always in my heart and I love Vancouver," Winger said.

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