Elizabeth Maloy Running to Be on Team USA for London Olympics
“It’s a dream come true to be able to experience it in person,” said Elizabeth Maloy, track and field athlete, Georgetown graduate and program assistant for the Citizens Association of Georgetown, as she was about to compete for a spot on Team USA that will go the London 2012 Olympics.
“My ultimate goal is to be the top three but to enjoy it: the nervousness before, the pain, and soak it all in,” Maloy said.
For Maloy, the Olympic Trials begin on June 25 at the University of Oregon in Eugene, with a standard two-step process in order to make the team. This includes a preliminary race and a final race, with a victory of the first race leading to a chance to compete in the final race on June 28. The top winners will then compete for the U.S. in the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London, which begin July 27.
“The people I met through CAG and in school are so supportive," said the 26-year-old who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University, works in Georgetown and lives in Columbia Heights. "It means so much. It’s really cool, and I’m so grateful that I’m apart of this community.” An All-American and Big East champion, Maloy still trains with Hoyas coach Chris Miltenberg and runs at Ellington Field, along the tow path or in Rock Creek.
Maloy's life in track and field started in seventh grade in her hometown of Albany, N.Y. “I remember going to school that day, and I was going out for the tennis team. All my friends were going out for cross-country. So, I decided to try out. I’ve been running ever since,” said Maloy, who runs the mile and the 5,000 meter (more than 3 miles).
However, it hasn’t always been a smooth sailing ride for an opportunity to compete in the Olympic Trials. Throughout her time at Georgetown University, with a fifth year of eligibility to run, Maloy experienced injury after injury and multiple stress fractures. “It was a constant battle. I had to work my way back into shape,” Maloy said.
During her postgraduate season at Georgetown University, she was introduced to a new way of living, as a result of a new coaching staff. “It introduced me to a whole new philosophy, to be patient and not to push so hard. It made a huge difference,” Maloy said. In 2008, she qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing but fell and broke her foot, leading her to give her spot up in the trials. “It was very hard to do because I never want to give up an opportunity, but it was the best decision for me. It makes this more exciting,” she said.
In order to prepare for the Olympic Trials, Maloy has increased the intensity of her workouts with strength training, a four-year process she underwent. “The work is all in the bank now,” she said. “You know you worked so hard for it and you can only control so much.”
Seeking a spot for the 5,000-meter race in the Olympics, Maloy motivates herself through her love for running, which has taught her more about herself as an individual. “What I really love about it [running], it taught me so much about myself and how strong I am. The feeling of being able to push yourself and push that limit a little more motivates me to go out and race,” she said.