Sarah King’s journey to Tokyo in the summer of 2021 began on a small high school track in Oregon’s Yamhill County. An energetic kid who spent most of her childhood outside racing her brothers and the neighbor kids around in between homeschool lessons, Sarah wasn’t interested in organized sports. But when she began attending Yamhill-Carlton High School and soon found herself nearly alone in the classroom – her classmates all off competing in track meets – she decided she needed to be out there, too.
Sarah didn’t take to running right away, and she found herself wondering what inspired anyone to put themselves through that kind of training and workouts. She stuck with it anyway, and her second year was placed on the 4×400 relay team. That year her high school team made it to the Oregon state track meet, giving Sarah a new perspective on competition and what it means to be part of a team.
After that, her outlook changed and though at the time she still would never have dreamed of going to the Olympics, the path was laid out before her. With energy reminiscent of her childhood, Sarah went on to run – and break records – at George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Upon graduation, despite having gotten ever faster during her collegiate career as a runner, Sarah figured her days of competing were behind her and she planned to settle in to running for fun.
Instead, encouraged by her coach and enabled by dual citizenship, Sarah landed a spot on the Swiss National Team. The road was not destined to be easy, however, and the Covid pandemic not only delayed both the 2020 Swiss National Championships and the Olympics, but also changed what training looked like for athletes like Sarah.
Sarah wound up with a hamstring issue that simply wouldn’t resolve on its own. Her training suffered, as she was unable to push herself to the levels she wanted and needed to. Knowing she needed help, Sarah turned to Therapeutic Associates Newberg Physical Therapy where she found a partner in her journey to healing and optimal performance.
Through hard work and dedication and with the help of physical therapy, Sarah overcame her injury and traveled to Switzerland to compete in 2021 at the National Championships. She knew she needed to PR by about a half a second in the 400 to have any hope of making the Olympic team, but she was ready. In what turned out to be what Sarah refers to as her breakout race, the girl from small-town Oregon broke her personal record by 1.3 seconds.
The reality of what she had accomplished hit when the Swiss National team’s coach began talking to her about flights to Tokyo. She was going to the 2021 Olympics.
The experience of being in Tokyo among world-class athletes from around the globe was surreal for Sarah. And being part of the pool of six runners there to represent Switzerland in the 4×400 relay was more than she had ever even dreamed. Though she was not one of the four chosen to run the relay, being there as part of the team only reinforced the young athlete’s determination.
With an eye toward future championship competitions, Sarah continues pushing herself as a professional athlete. As she does, she takes comfort in knowing that Physical Therapist Patrick Bridge and the team at Therapeutic Associates Newberg Physical Therapy are on her side and will always have her back whether she faces future injuries or simply wants some expert help in increasing her athletic performance.
We look forward to being a part of your healthcare team.
From injury recovery to movement and performance enhancement, patient success is our passion. Our therapists are committed to the application of evidence-based treatment techniques to ensure you experience the best in rehabilitation and preventative care and see progress with every visit.