HOW COVID IMPACTED BEN MALONES RUNNING CAREER AND ULTIMATELY COST HIM THE OLYMPICS
A RUNNER'S STORY OF TRYING TO FACE THE PANDEMIC
The pandemic has changed a lot for all of us. We have had to put our lives on hold, and completely pause the exciting events and things we have planned. For Ben, the exciting event that was cancelled was the summer 2020 olympics. Ben has always had a gift and it was that he was an incredible athlete.
From the time he was in middle school, his family and his coaches knew he was different from other runners. He had a successful career all throughout high school, college, and even as a professional athlete. This all was preparing him for the ultimate goal which was the olympics. Ben's running career began when he started to play soccer. He was always one of the faster runners on the field and was recognized for this. His father also had a great impact on the start of Malones career. He was always a runner himself and competed all throughout high school and college. This led Ben to follow in his footsteps and it was almost like this was what he was born to do.
Ben's father always saw the potential in him and knew he wanted him to run track as a sport. Once Malone started to run track in high school, things really started to take off. He was beating the upperclassmen and the best runners from other high schools. Ben stated, “Then towards the end of my freshman year when I started competing and beating those kids on my team I knew that okay, maybe I'm going to have a little bit of a different trajectory than them.”
This made him realize he was different from other runners and could potentially turn this into his career. Winning national championships and state titles gave him the recognition he needed to be noticed by college scouts and newspapers. There was almost an article every day on Ben detailing his accomplishments and victories.
Once the newspapers and college scouts took an interest in Ben, he knew the success that was to come. College scouts came to our home offering Ben full scholarship to come and compete at their schools. This was a whirlwind, even though it was so exciting the pressures of choosing the right school was extremely overwhelming. He finally chose to commit to Villanova University, and from there train for the olympics and compete as a college athlete. That is when things began to take a turn. As training for the olympics began, COVID-19 had emerged in China. This had no effect so far, but little did we know then. Once the corona virus came to the United States, the chances of Ben running in the olympics were slim to none and a decision had to be made, keep running and keep the hope? Or, choose a new path and go to law school?
“I had to make a choice of whether to extend my career into the uncertainty of this post covid athletic world, or to start my career as a law student.” Malone stated. This video shows the triumph of struggles and excitement of how Malone’s running career unfolded and how this pandemic was almost a blessing in disguise. My video is on youtube for anyone to see https://youtu.be/kTXkvOfZics .Of course it would have been amazing to run for the United States and go to the olympics in Japan, Tokyo, but in life sometimes it leads you down the path you were always supposed to be on. Ben found this due to the pandemic and my video shows how he is loving studying for his new career path. Hearing the news of the olympics was devastating. But it opened Ben's eyes that there is more to his career than just running. Now Ben is a full time law student at Brooklyn Law School and has just received his first internship. At first it was heartbreaking having to think about ending something he was passionate about, but it opened an opportunity for new passions.