Triathlete Kevin McDowell, who hails from suburban Geneva, won a silver medal in the triathlon mixed relay Friday evening just days after another accomplishing major feat in the Tokyo Olympics.
McDowell obtained sixth place in the men’s triathlon Saturday, the best finish for an American man in the Olympic event since its debut in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
It’s been a long road to the Tokyo Olympics for the suburban Geneva native, including a battle against cancer and competition struggles that left him on the verge of potentially quitting the sport.
McDowell is a seven-time World Triathlon Cup medalist and the 2017 USA Triathlon Elite national champion, but his biggest victory in his life came after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011.
“My whole world was upside down where I was actually, instead of focusing on trying to win the world title, I was fighting for my life to beat cancer,” he previously told NBC 5.
After his chemo treatments finished, it took McDowell several years to find his groove again in the triathlon, but he says he finally began to round into shape just after nearly quitting in 2018.
“My family was like ‘give it one more go for 2019, then you can walk away if it’s not going to work out,’ and boy am I glad they said that,” he said.