2024 Paris Olympics

Dallas resident Bryce Hoppel staying on track before U.S. Olympic Trials

Team USA Track and Field Olympic trials are June 21- June 30 in Eugene, OR

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Bryce Hoppel is the reigning world indoor track champion in the 800-meter race and now, he’s hoping he hits his stride just perfectly at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials to score a trip to his second Olympics.

“One of the things that is special about me or people who make it to this level, you find it in yourself to always keep going,” Hoppel said just before a training session in Dallas in March.

While his actual race is nowhere close to being slow, that is his thought process when it comes to executing during training and races.

“My personal best is a minute and 43 seconds. I’m hoping to get it down to a minute and 42 seconds this year. If I can do that, we are going for the Olympic gold medal.

If he completes a time that fast, he would be just a few seconds shy of the current world record is held by David Rudisha of Kenya in 2012 at the London Olympics.

He said previous races have made him ready for trials in Eugene, as he has learned the comeback is always on the table. That’s exactly what he had to do in Scotland to become the fastest man on the indoor track in the race.

“The final stride was like, ‘Oh man, I have it. I see it. Like, just go get it.’ Luckily my legs had the pop in them and the energy to just cross the finish line,” Hoppel said.

The 26-year-old has been living in Dallas and training constantly, reminding us that celebrations in the sport are as short-lived as the races. It’s always on to the next one so quickly. Hoppel is a six-time U.S. champion and two-time NCAA distance running champion at the University of Kansas.

His first Olympic appearance was at the Tokyo Olympics (2021) where his run ended in the semi-finals. His sights are focused strictly on a medal.

“You get one shot, and you won’t get that shot again until 2028. So, I feel like I [have to] make it happen and the passion goes with the training, especially once it gets closer,” Hoppel said.

His race to this point has been a bit unconventional. He grew up in Midland, TX where he started his sports career in baseball and soccer and only picked up cross country because his coach wanted him to be in shape. He said that was when the running bug stuck.

“I think just all the people around me is what keeps me going. I think you wake up some days and it’s really tough. Your body is aching, you’re tired and you may not want to train that day. So you rely on the people around you to keep you going,” Hoppel said.

Those people for him, his family. People he said have been there since the beginning to this point, chasing his dream.

“Wearing USA on your chest is always an honor and hoping to make everybody proud. Dallas, Midland and just do my best out there,” Hoppel said.

Team USA Track and Field Olympic trials are June 21- June 30 in Eugene, OR. NBC 5 and other NBC platforms will have complete coverage.

Watch more stories from North Texas Hometown Hopefuls anytime in our complete Paris Olympics coverage.

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