Olympian has ties to Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Olympian has ties to Rochester


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Nick Symmonds is one of the fastest men in the world and America's top Olympic qualifier in the 800 meters.

"We've seen him run a couple of times." They're his biggest fans in more ways than one. But the man the world knows as Nick Symmonds the runner, Dege and Richard simply know as their grandson.

Richard says, "We're a trout fishing family. We have a place in Montana and we all meet there." Nick grew up in Boise, Idaho, but his dad and grandparents have long sought roots right here in Rochester.

Richard and Dege moved to the city in 1953 where they continued to raise their family as Richard worked as a doctor at Mayo.

An occupation that runs in the family and they hoped would carry on.

Richard and Dege explain, "He was supposed to go to medical school and he called when he was in college and said he could always go to medical school. He wanted to run for a few years and I told him well you can't make a living running."

But that's just what Nick did. In 2008 he qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, falling two places short of making the official team. Richard goes on to say, "He convinced me that if he could run real well he would make a good living, and he has."

Now Nick will take his skills to the 2012 London Olympics where he will surely continue to make his grandparents proud.

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