Sarah Groff is hoping to make her hometown of Cooperstown famous for more than just baseball this weekend.
Groff will look to accomplish that feat by swimming, cycling and running faster than she ever has before, competing in the Olympic Triathlon, one of the more grueling events at the London games.
Groff tried her hand at just about everything growing up in Cooperstown, from ballet to baseball to soccer, but it was swimming that seemed to get her focus.
She broke the record for swimming the nine miles around Lake Otsego when she was just 14 years old, perhaps foreshadowing her Olympic destiny, competing in Triathlon at the London Games.
"She graduated from college she decided she was going to pursue triathlon," recalls her Mother Jeannine Groff. "She said she didn't want to get to be 40 years old and say 'gee, I wish I would have give it a shot.'"
Not only has she given it a shot, but she's gotten herself to the point where she could medal at the Olympics. Groff placed third in her final pre-Olympic race a couple weeks ago, making everyone in Cooperstown extra excited about cheering on one of their own at the Olympic Games.
"She swam on the high school boys swim team, there was no girl's swim team at that time," says her mother. "She ran track, so yeah, I think she has a lot of support (in Cooperstown). She's very proud to represent this country and she appreciated the opportunity and everything that's going along with all of this."
Part of what goes along with this experience for Sarah is inspiring other athletes back at home.
She recently told triathlon.competitor.com, "I grew up in a town of 2,000 people where the biggest sports stars were college basketball players; that was about it. This is another world. Hopefully a kid in Cooperstown can say, 'Well if Sarah can go, I can go.'"
"She is mentally tough," adds her proud mother, "she works very hard at her sport, which is her job. She is a very motivated person and she is very positive. All of those things are key to becoming an Olympic athlete."
And that goal will come true on Saturday morning when she begins her quest for Olympic Triathlon gold at 4 AM Eastern time.August 2, 2012