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Molly Seidel Qualifies for Tokyo Olympics, Inches Closer to Achieving Fourth-Grade Wish

As a fourth grader in 2004, Molly Seidel wrote on the back of her photograph, "I wish I will make it into the Olympics and win a gold medal."

The assignment was to write your biggest wish and dream. The note has been in her parents' house in Wisconsin for years but made the trip to Atlanta for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials, where she inched closer to that goal by finishing second and qualifying this Summer's Olympics in Tokyo.

"Even at that time, she wasn't even a runner," Fritz Seidel, Molly's father, told Sports Illustrated after the race. "We had no idea what that even means. That's drive at a young age."

Her mother, Anne, shared photos of the letter with SI shortly after the race.


Seidel was one of the biggest surprises of the race since she had never previously run a marathon before Saturday. She took second behind Aliphine Tuliamuk, also set to become a first-time Olympian, in 2:27:31.

The Wisconsin native was an accomplished high school runner who won the 2011 Footlocker Cross Country National Championships and then went on to win four NCAA titles at Notre Dame. She qualified for the trials with a 1:10:27 at the Rock 'N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon in December.