Watch CBS News

Dakotah Lindwurm reflects on running career, looks forward to Paris Olympics

Dakotah Lindwurm proves hard work pays off
Dakotah Lindwurm proves hard work pays off 01:52

MINNEAPOLIS — Along many steps of the way, this outcome was unimaginable. Dakotah Lindwurm didn't even come close to qualifying for a state meet her entire high school career in St. Francis, Minnesota.

"I'm someone who really hates being bad at things," she said. "So I feel like that really fueled my fire."

That fire kept getting stoked. Lindwurm walked on to run at Division II Northern State. She became an All-American. But she still wasn't sure about a pro career. A seminal moment took place in 2021, when she won Grandma's Marathon in Duluth.

"It was the year after my mom had died. So I feel like it had meant so much to me because it was such a dream of hers to see my succeed in running," Lindwurm said.

Sprint forward to this February, still an under the radar runner in the U.S., Lindwurm qualified for the Olympics at the marathon trials in Florida.

"Once it kind of opened up towards the end where people started running faster, I was just kind of hanging on for dear life to take third," she said. "It was maybe the most emotional moment of my career. I feel like it was just elation and relief that all this hard work that I've been doing is finally paying off."

The marathon will be held on the last day of the Paris Olympics, giving Dakotah time take in all she's accomplished.

"I hope it's everything I dream of. I want to be part of the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony," said Lindwurm. "I want to take it all in."

More than most distance runners, for Lindwurm it's been a long and bumpy road, with a specific lesson.

"I guess I've learned that I can be the hardest worker on the starting line," she said. "I don't have to be the fastest or the most talented, that I can just be the hardest worker and that will pay off."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.