After a rollercoaster of events, 20-year-old Taylor Talbot qualified to run in two events in this summer’s Paralympics in Tokyo.
Talbot, who is legally blind, sacrificed a lot to get to where she is today. After COVID-19 hit, she had a difficult decision to make. She could return to BYU-Idaho where the track was closed or stay home and train where she had a gym and track available. She chose to stay home and train.
After a meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she felt like that decision had paid off. Talbot was told she qualified for the Paralympic team. She was ecstatic and even joined a team Zoom call where she was told to expect an email with more details. Unfortunately, she received a call saying that, due to a mathematical error, she did not qualify for the team. She missed the opportunity by .01%. She was told, however, that she was the first alternate for the team.
Talbot was crushed, but she didn’t let that stop her from doing what she loved.
“The next morning after that, I got up and I went and ran two miles because there was no way that I wasgoing to stop training. I didn’t know if I was going to make the Tokyo team or not … but that didn’t matter to me … whether I make Tokyo or not there’s going to be more track meets next year,” Talbot said.
Fortunately, she did get to see the results of her hard work and dedication. A couple of weeks ago, she received another call. The international Paralympic Committee decided to give her a direct invitation to compete at the games. They gave the U.S. another slot for a teammate and because she was first alternate for the team, she got that spot.
“All I can say is that setbacks are going to be a part of life. Whether it’s sports or music or school… you're going to have obstacles that you're going to come across. And when you come across those you have a choice to make you can either turn away from them or you can try to conquerthem,” Talbot said.
Talbot will face her next challenge in August as she competes in the Tokyo Paralympics.