Katie Zaferes Wins Olympic Medal Just Months After Her Father Passed Away

Zaferes saw a rainbow in the sky that guided her to the finish line

American triathlete Katie Zaferes competes during a women's triathlon test event at Odaiba Marine Park, a venue for marathon swimming and triathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Tokyo.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Just three months after her father passed away, Team USA's Katie Zaferes delivered a medal-winning performance in the women's triathlon at the Tokyo Olympics.

As the rain poured down in Tokyo, Zaferes said she saw a rainbow in the sky and thought "Hey, Dad."

"He would have been crying. He would have been so proud and happy," Zaferes said following the women's triathlon.

"He's with me in a different way and we’re going to be doing this together, as I ask for his guidance, strength and joy for the road ahead," Zaferes said, per the official Team USA page.

"Because as my dad reminded me before every race, all I needed to do was 'race hard, but most of all have fun.' So that is what I’m going to do."

And that's exactly what she did as she crossed the finish line amid the rainy conditions at Odaiba Marine Park where she claimed a bronze medal.

Zaferes, a world champion at the World Triathlon Series in 2019, has overcome many challenges leading up to the Olympics. After failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2019 due to a crash, Zaferes was picked for the final spot by a selection committee and it's clear they made the right choice.

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