COLUMBUS (WCMH) – It’s been about one month since Hunter Armstrong and Alec Yoder returned from Tokyo after an Olympic experience like no other. Both are back in Columbus and already back to training.
The ink from an Olympic rings tattoo is still fresh on Alec’s arm, as are the memories of competing in Tokyo.
“This is a tattoo that’s earned, not given. And I think that’s really important to be a reminder for me to strive to be great,” said Alec.
Alec went to Tokyo with hopes of medaling in his specialty, the pommel horse. But he finished sixth.
“I really found perspective in the last couple weeks. Just being happy with where I am,” said Alec. “I knew I was capable of a medal, and I thought that was going to happen, but the fact that it didn’t doesn’t mean it’s a failure.”
Just five days after returning, Alec was back in the gym, preparing for the World Championships trials that take place next week.
“It’s been a little bit tough. I guess I’m looking forward to a vacation eventually. It’s been 2 years since that’s happened,” said Alec. “It was a great Olympic Games, but not exactly the ending that we wanted and so, there’s more work to be done for sure.”
For Hunter, it’s been a whirlwind since coming back. He spent the first few weeks at home in Dover, getting his Olympic rings tattoo and receiving a hero’s welcome.
“I don’t like using the word surreal because everybody uses it, but it couldn’t be more fitting,” said Hunter. “That’s my hometown. Those are my people. I was at the Games, fighting for them along with my country.”
But at Ohio State, Hunter the gold-medal winning Olympians is more like Hunter, the student.
“Swimming is still swimming. I’m just some tall dude,” said Hunter. “So I get looks but I don’t think anyone makes the connection. I prefer it that way. I just like to be myself and live a normal life.”
Hunter is already back in the water, preparing for his sophomore season. But returning to the Olympics is already on his mind.
“Oh absolutely. It is definitely motivation. I will be back with a vengeance in Paris,” said Hunter.” That’s why I’m back in the water now because I’m trying to get ready for Worlds and I have to prove myself, that it wasn’t a mistake.”