London Olympics Hometown Heroes: Sarah Groff
Most Olympians have to worry about excelling in only one sport.
But that's not the case for New Hampshire’s Sarah Groff -- she has to worry about three sports!
Sarah Groff is planning to swim, bike and run her way to a medal in London.
The 30-year-old tri-athlete grew up in Cooperstown New York, the youngest of three siblings, who were all encouraged to do, and be anything.
“They supported us in whatever we wanted to do, they expected us to work hard, but they never told us, ‘no you can't be anything,’ they let us figure things out for ourselves,” Groff said.
Sarah went on to Middlebury College in Vermont -- double majoring in biology and studio art.
But she always had triathlons on her mind.
“In college I knew I could be a better athlete than I was, just ‘cause I hadn't really focused on it. I was torn in different directions, I really wanted to see what I could do, if I completely focused on something,” Groff said.
And focus she did. But she also remained realistic.
“I’m going to give myself two years, see how far I can get in this sport, and if I haven’t made any progress, if I don’t think I’m ever going to be any good, then I’m going to do what the rest of my peers are doing -- get a real job or go to graduate school. But I’m still doing it,” Groff said.
Yes, she is still doing it -- earning her spot on team USA, where she will compete against 55 women in an event comprised of swimming just under a mile, followed by a 25 mile bike ride, and then a 6.2 mile run.
“It’s incredibly fast, but sometimes you get a little bit of chaos and carnage, it's pretty exciting,” Groff said.
Sarah now calls Hanover, New Hampshire home. And when not training, she loves the outdoors, and even has a special talent that goes back to childhood.
“I’m not the bird watcher I used to be. My siblings used to make fun of me. ‘Cause I had, I wouldn’t say an encyclopedic knowledge, but I had a pretty vast knowledge of birds,” Groff said.
And while she's at the top of her game athletically, Sarah is brave enough to admit, she also has her struggles.
“I’m one of the best tri-athletes in the world, but I still have confidence problems,” Groff said.
“You can't hide from who you are, who to think you are, and you have to learn how to cope,” Groff said.
And her message for others to help them feel better about themselves: just get up, and get active.
“We forget in our modern culture, where we drive cars and we play video games, we're meant to do things, we’re meant to be active, put our bodies to use,” Groff said. “We're meant to be walking and running and playing, it’s easy to lose sight of that.”
And Sarah comes from a very accomplished family. Her sister is a best-selling author and her brother a doctor.