Track and Field: Injury Crushed Team USA Dreams for Michigan’s Ryan Talbot but He Pushed Through To Reach the Podium

Published 04/16/2024, 10:54 PM EDT

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The hunger for success in track and field comes from different perspectives. The grueling training schedule or the laborious journey on the field can test any athlete’s character stringently. So keeping up the momentum even after a heartbreak may need some iron-cast motivations. Ryan Talbot displayed this motivation even after an injury scare marred his chances of representing Team USA. 

Donning Michigan’s color, the track and field athlete tasted success in both indoor and outdoor games. For his thorough success, Ryan also earned his name registered in the NCAA outdoor second-team All-American, furthering his chance of getting into Team USA in 2022 for the Thorpe Cup. However, a minor ankle injury decimated his long-cherished dream at that moment.

But soon, riding on stellar grit, the MSU attendee became a notable Team USA member in the 2023 Pan Am Games in Chile. Ryan Talbot bagged the bronze medal there in his event. Furthermore, he came out to be a record maker at Michigan State University by being the sole athlete to participate in the Games. However, certain things were different for him in 2023 amid the pressure to perform at the highest stage. 


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It was his ability to keep calm that time has taught him. Talbot explained, “It all stems from the childish need inside everyone. Being able to go and play and have fun and enjoy life. The reason you do everything almost is because you’re trying to find some enjoyment, right? I don’t want to turn my career into something where I hate every time I compete because I’m upset about my performance or I’m putting pressure on myself where I feel fear and stress and anxiety.” It seems the change in mindset has paid him well. With that, he has several tasks on his hands now. 

The ultimate way to find a better meaning of track and field sports 

Ryan Talbot’s NCAA track and field endeavor is on the card now. As per the schedule, the MSU Spartan Track and Field team will face four contests just before heading to the fresh NCAA season. Among the four contests, Ryan Talbot will have to appear in the Mt. SAC Relays for the multi-season debut. As per the MSU graduate, the decathlon seems to be harder to train in. 

A lot of events in the discipline have made it complex, as Talbot said previously. But with the addition of fun, he thinks it to be enough riveting. He points that out again saying, “I’ve learned that it’s not so much about ‘you’ve got to go to these competitions because you’re the best athlete.’ For me, I want to go to these competitions because they’re the most fun.” It remains to be seen if the fun factor can help him bolster his performance in the upcoming NCAA season which will decide his fate on donning the Team USA jersey once again. 


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Written by:

Prasun Chakrabarty


One take at a time

Prasun Chakrabarty is an Olympic Sports Writer for EssentiallySports, who specializes in covering aquatic arena events. Post his experiences with popular publications including PinkVilla, Prasun began his days in ES, by actively covering two prime events - 2023 US Open Swimming Championships and the 2024 TYR Pro Swim Series. Prasun's coverage extends beyond the pool, and he takes specific interest in the progress of the triangular rivalry between track and field stars, Sha’Carri Richardson, Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. You can follow him on:-
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Edited by:

Bhujaya Ray Chowdhury