Crested Butte’s Emma Coburn will be Representing the USA in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She punched her ticket by winning the steeplechase at the Olympic Trails last week. Her finishing time in the 3,000-meter race was 9 minutes, 17.48 seconds, securing a spot on the USA Olympic team for the second straight time. The 25-year-old Crested Butte native touched on growing up at an altitude of 9,000 feet. As a child she was exposed to such a variety of sports and she attributes her success as a runner to a diverse athletic background. Growing up an intense skier and snowboarder, in the summer Emma’s family’s hobbies included mountain biking, climbing and rafting. When she was seven years old she peaked her first 14,000-foot mountain. Emma mentioned that growing up in Crested Butte was just about fun. She did not specialize in a sport at a young age to avoid from getting burning out. It was not until Emma’s junior year of high school when she began to take running seriously. As you could probably imagine, Emma didn’t start her running career specializing in the steeplechase. Emma had signed up to run the 800 for an out of state meet in Albuquerque. Being an eight-hour drive from Crested Butte, Emma’s father suggested she sign up for another event as well so that they weren’t driving so far for just two laps of running. Emma chose the steeplechase and won the race qualifying for nationals. Emma claims had she not signed up for the steeplechase, she would not have been recruited to run in college. This year’s Olympics will be Emma’s second time to represent America, and you can bet the town of Crested Butte will be cheering her on.
Emma was also featured in the ESPN Body Issue. Check out this video for an in depth look at the behind the scenes footage
The full schedule of events and more information on the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic games can be found here.