American Long-Distance Runner Prepares for Worlds
By: Michael Chuang
Arguably the greatest American distance runner in the 21st century, Galen Rupp, prepares himself for the World Championships. Having the World Athletics Championships beginning this week being held in Oregon, Rupp’s home state, he is about the fastest teenage runner anyone had seen.
Born in Oregon, Rupp’s early career started in 2003 where he played soccer for Oregon’s Central Catholic High School. Eventually, well-known American marathon runner Alberto Salazar took notice of Rupp’s talent in running and trained Rupp to become the runner he is now.
According to the New York Times, because Salazar was recently put on SafeSport’s temporarily barred list, Rupp’s association with Salazar — who has been found guilty of cheating — could greatly impact Rupp’s impression and reputation. SafeSport is a non-profit organization established in 2017 with the intention to protect young athletes from sexual abuse or assault.
Weldon Johnson, a former top distance runner in the country and a co-founder of letsrun.com, said, “I think we should evaluate his career like everyone else but with more skepticism since one athlete is tied more closely to Salazar than anyone else and that is Rupp. Based on performance, he’s the greatest American male long-distance runner of his generation since Steve Prefontaine probably.”
Recently, Rupp had skipped many of his paydays to focus on winning the world championship marathon. For the past few decades, Rupp constantly had minor injuries that prevented him from running in his best condition, but these injuries did not affect his ability to run. Only this spring, doctors diagnosed a herniated disc and pinched nerve. He also dealt with Covid-19 for the past month.
Now at age 36, Rupp prepares to ace the World Championships this Sunday. One can say that Rupp is a fierce and fearless competitor and is always ready and willing to do whatever it takes to win. No matter what obstacle comes in the way of Rupp, he would do whatever it takes to win the championships.