Goucher's Sister Talks London Olympics, Childhood/Future

By KBJR News 1

August 17, 2012 Updated Aug 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - "The thing that's so funny in our family is she's, like, the least hand–eye coordinated, and was the least athletic for so long. She was really into art, and French horn and dance," said Kelly Grgas–Wheeler, Goucher's older sister.

Grgas–Wheeler made the commitment during the 2008 Beijing Olympics that, if Goucher qualified for the 2012 London Olympics, she would be there, by her side. It's a level of support that goes back to childhood, when Goucher decided she would one day go for the Olympic gold.

"My response was not, 'well, you're crazy, that will never happen.' It was like, 'OK, if that's your dream then that's what your dream is,'" said Grgas–Wheeler.

...not an easy dream to accomplish, by any means, especially considering the tragedy that struck when the sisters were so young. Their father was killed by a drunk driver, and the emotional wounds lingered.

"We've all dealt with a little bit of depression. People look at Kara and think she's flawless, but, you know, she's had to get through a lot of things," said Grgas–Wheeler.

And, with her family by her side, she has. It is support that helped carry her to her first Olympic marathon, in London, just days ago. While the trip provided an opportunity for family and friends to tour Europe, the sightseeing was secondary to a grueling training schedule.

"It was really fortunate that our hotel was across from Buckingham Palace, and right by Big Ben and Westminster Abbey," said Grgas–Wheeler.

Goucher finished 11th out of 120, which is no small feat. But, according to Grgas–Wheeler, it wasn't easy for Goucher to swallow: "11th in the world—there's billions of people that run marathons, but, for her... she dreams bigger. I think when you dream that big, your disappointment is big."

But, Grgas–Wheeler says one gold medal Goucher more than deserves is for being a mom: "I think it's probably something that I haven't said enough to her, that she's a fantastic mother."

...winning the hearts of fans worldwide, and those closest to home.

According to Grgas Wheeler, Goucher is committed to the 2013 Boston Marathon... and has her sights set on the 2016 Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro.