“I just remember in a way running kind of changed my life because I always felt like I could have gone to the other direction where I might not have gotten a scholarship to NAU, maybe wouldn’t have gotten a college degree, or gone to the Olympics, all these things. I don’t know what I would be doing if I wasn’t running. It’s just crazy how at the age of 14, making the decision to go run, has changed my entire life in so many ways.”
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This is the first podcast Luis Grijalva has ever been on and he’s got a great story to tell. Luis is a 22-year-old Olympian for Guatemala and finished 12th in the 5000m final in Tokyo, running a personal best of 13:10.09. He now runs professionally for HOKA and recently graduated from Northern Arizona University, where he was a multiple time All-American.
In this conversation, Luis tells his story of coming to the U.S. as a baby, growing up in Fairfield, California, and how getting into running at the age of 14 changed the course of his life. He told me about his experience qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, navigating the challenges of traveling outside the country as a DACA beneficiary, and what it meant for him to represent not only his home country, but over half a million other Dreamers on the world’s biggest stage. We also discussed his relationship with coach Mike Smith, where he he draws his confidence from, and a lot more.
Luis Grijalva: Instagram
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.