Olympic medalist said opponents were shocked she finished the marathon because she was having 'too much fun in the hotel'

Molly Seidel crosses over the finish line at Tokyo Olympics. AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama
Nobody expected Molly Seidel would reach the podium at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon.

American superstar at 27 years old won bronze in the third marathon of her career.

Seidel said that she was shocked to finish because she had "too many fun in the hotel."

Molly Seidel defied all expectations at the Tokyo Olympics and had a lot of fun.

American star Seidel, 27, earned a bronze medal for the women's race at this summer's games. She completed only the third marathon in her career, crossing the finish line in Sapporo in Japan. When Seidel stepped up to the US Olympic Qualifiers in February 2020, few expected her to make it to Tokyo. Fewer people expected her to make it on the most competitive stage in the world.

Seidel. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Seidel's opponents in the games were the most skeptical. They were not skeptical of her abilities - she won four national titles at shorter distances during her NCAA career at Notre Dame. Her calm demeanor, laughable antics, and support from Jon Green, her coach, suggest she might not be the serious threat to a place on the podium.

Insider reported that Seidel said, "We were just, frankly speaking, fucking around." "We were looking at stuff in the hotel with googly eyes." Everyone thought we were the worst, most obstructive people there.

"Actually, I spoke with the British team afterward and they were like, "Truthfully, We were wondering if we were going to finish it, because you had too much fun at the hotel," she said.

This is part of Seidel’s strategy. She says that she takes obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) very seriously. She must avoid running because she is prone to getting into trouble.

Seidel (left), runs with her coach Jon Green in Cambridge, Massachusetts. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

After college, Seidel became a professional runner after spending time in Boston's amateur running scene. Seidel learned from talented runners that running doesn't need to be your entire life. However, it can be an important part of your daily life.

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This mindset shift taught her to "have a better relationship" with running. She learned to accept it as it was and to have fun with it.

Seidel stated that "if anything, that mentality has helped more at this level now," especially when it comes to the Olympics. It's the highest level of the sport and it can be extremely stressful. We were in Tokyo for a stressful situation. Being in quarantine, being tested daily on COVID and not knowing if you would ever get to the line was stressful.

Seidel competes in the 2020 London Marathon. Richard Heathcote/Pool via AP

She added, "And so being in a position to feel a little less attached to [the sport], or just appreciating the sport for what it is... that's when it really makes me do my best."

This fall, she'll be taking a similar approach for the New York City Marathon. She is realistic because she knows that the turnaround from the Olympics and the iconic race through five boroughs of New York City is not small. She says that her goals are less place-based, time-based and more effort-based. So she will be happy as long as she does the "absolute best" she can.

Seidel stated, "When I finish a marathon and feel like I really went up to the wall – put my all out there and raced to its best - whatever that may be - I can feel pretty satisfied." It's how I approach mental challenges mentally. This is how I approached my three previous marathons.

Insider has the original article.