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Chari Hawkins: Team USA Heptathlete Aiming For Olympics

On the track, Chari Hawkins pretty much does it all. As a heptathlete, she competes in seven events, including 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin, and 800-meter run.

With the 2020 Olympics right around the corner, Chari is gearing up for a run at a gold medal. We got the chance to talk to her track beginnings, her training process, and her goals for the year. Check out the interview below!

KC: Generally, most kids don’t grow up competing in track and field events. Did you play other sports as a kid?

CH: I was into volleyball, basketball, dance, and gymnastics. I started doing track in 7th grade begrudgingly because my friends all did it and I wanted to hang out with them after school. As I got a bit older they all stopped, but I kept going once I began to improve, and it became my main sport!

KC: When did you first start your track and field career?

CH: I started track in 7th grade, but didn’t do the Heptathlon until after I started college at Utah State.

KC: At what point did you realize that there may be a career for you in track and field?

CH: It was probably when I was in high school because I had received a number of scholarships for track, but there was always part of me that wanted to prove that I could make it as far as I was willing to let myself go.

chari hawkins

KC: What accomplishment have you been most proud of thus far in your career?

CH: I received the NCAA national sportsmanship award when I was a junior in college, and it was definitely something I was proud of! 

KC: Being a heptathlete, how hard is it for you to find time to focus on all seven events?

CH: Practice can go from 3-7 hours, which are both physically and mentally draining as well as time-consuming. But I’ve never thought that it was difficult to do so. I absolutely love what I do, and the more time I get to spend working hard to achieve my goals, the happier I am.

 KC: What are your goals for 2019? 

CH: My goals for this year are to compete well at IAAF World Championships in Doha and a personal best score while there. 

KC: What does Kill the Quit mean to you?

CH: I love that motto. To me, it means that quitting isn’t even an option. It’s dead. The only remaining choice is to get the job done and reach the goal. Too many times we let our own excuses and reasons be the reason for giving up. We let ourselves off the hook. If there is no chance of quitting, there is only the option of succeeding.

Connor Deneau