The first thing that Michelle Rohl’s three-month-old grandson may say when he starts to talk are probably things like “My grandma is cooler than yours.”

When Michelle Rohl, 58, won a bronze medal in the race walking division of the U.S. Olympic team trials on June 29, she enthralled spectators at Eugene, Oregon’s iconic Hayward Field. With an outstanding time of one hour and forty-two minutes for the 12.4-mile race, Rohl, the oldest competitor in this year’s trials, cemented her status as an incredible athlete.

Rohl has a distinguished sporting background. From Barcelona 1992 to Sydney 2000, she competed for the United States in three Olympics, most famously in the 10,000 and 20,000-metre race walking categories.

Her commitment to the sport never wavered, though she finished 20th, 14th, and 17th, respectively, in the three Olympics. Rohl kept up her love of walking after retiring in 2004 to homeschool her kids. Rohl’s return to the podium after 24 years, five children, and one grandson is evidence of her unwavering devotion to sports.

“In 1992, I placed third in my first Olympic trials and gave birth to a child at that time. I am again third now that I have a grandchild. That seemed pretty fantastic to me.” Rohl was quoted as saying by

Even though Rohl never won any Olympic gold, her love and unrelenting commitment to the sport never wavered. Rohl continued to lace up her shoes and hit the pavement even after giving up competitive athletics in 2004 to concentrate on homeschooling her kids.

After 25 years, Rohl is back on the podium, demonstrating her unwavering dedication to walking and the unbreakable spirit that typifies her athletic path. She has five daughters and a cherished grandson.

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