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How one athlete’s Olympic dreams moved from hockey cut to rugby star

2016 Team USA Media Summit - Portraits

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 08: Rugby player Alev Kelter poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 8, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Some Olympic dreams take funny turns on their way to reality.

Alev Kelter was an elite soccer and hockey player at the University of Wisconsin, and had her heart set on playing hockey in Sochi 2014.

She didn’t make the cut, but it took less than two years for her to realize her dream of making an Olympic team... in a brand new sport.

MORE: Mardini’s harrowing journey

It’s fascinating to consider what people do in times of failure, especially athletes who’ve thrived at nearly anything they’ve tried since they were a child. For Alaska-born Kelter, her moment of failure hurt her schooling.

From The Players’ Tribune:

The time to be invited to the December camp and get “called up” came and went.

This had been my dream since I was eight years old, and it had passed me by. I was devastated, an emotional mess. I went on a downward spiral and started missing classes.


But now she’s headed to Rio to play rugby. Read the full piece on her journey. It’s not disappointing.

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