Many athletes can only dream of one day becoming an Olympian and representing their country in their sport of choice. For Middletown alumna Megan Kelly, she is only steps away from receiving that ultimate honor, and it’s definitely not in the sport she thought she would compete in.
Growing up in Middletown, Megan Kelly began her athletic career in track when she was in elementary school and eventually transitioned to playing basketball. She played basketball for Middletown until her sophomore year of high school, which is when she decided to leave basketball in the past and revisit her love for track. Megan said “I wasn’t great at basketball and I didn’t have the passion for basketball that I had for track.”
During her junior and senior years of high school, Megan fell in love with track and field and began to dominate. She decided that it was something she wanted to carry into college.
Megan was originally a walk-on for the division one track team at Towson University while she pursued a major in exercise science. Her hard work and love for what she was doing paid off and earned her a full scholarship for track.
Her transition from track to bobsledding was quick and spontaneous. Last year, Megan had finished her last year of running track in college and her coaches told her that she should try running professionally.
Not long after, Megan’s strength coach was contacted by a member of the Women’s National bobseld team, recruiting her to try out. After a moment of confusion, Megan decided she would give bobsledding a go. It’s not uncommon that track athletes are recruited.
The tryout for bobsled was in Park City, Utah, where Megan would have to do a variety of “physical tests” and score enough points to be considered for the team. Megan ended up scoring the necessary amount of points to be invited to Lake Placid to learn how to actually bobsled.
After bobsledding at Lake Placid, Megan said the coaches “saw a lot of potential” in her abilities to bobsled and invited her to join the National team. Megan explained that her training for bobsled has been different and challenging. She runs short sprints five days a week and lifts weights four days a week. “I try to eat right, recover well, take care of my body, and be ready for each day,” Megan said.
Megan was known for her work ethic and motivation to succeed. Her coach at Towson University, Mike Jackson, said “she had ankle surgery her sophomore year and just kept working. She stayed determined and I think having that injury made her realize how much she loved the sport.”
Jackson also made note of the care Megan took of her body to fuel her as an athlete. “From what she put into her body to the time she would fall asleep, she always prepared herself mentally and physically for competitions.”
During the beginning of her season, Megan had an unfortunate back injury that kept her from sliding and limited her ability to train. She said she is hoping to “get better and recover well” so she can rejoin the team again next year even stronger.
Megan concluded by saying she “loves the feeling of competing” and that’s what drives her to continue to work hard. She said “when your hard work pays off, like beating a personal best, or winning a race, that ’s the greatest feeling.” A career as an athlete is something Megan wants and she hopes to make it to the next Olympics for bobsled.