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Rebekah Wales reflects on Olympic Trials experience

Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Rebekah Wales reflects on Olympic Trials experience

Courtesy photos

Former West Monroe High School and LSU alumna Rebekah Wales competed at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon in late June. Wales currently works in Ruston. 

Rebekah Wales reflects on Olympic Trials experience

West Monroe native and former LSU track star Rebekah Wales is grateful to have represented north Louisiana at the 2024 U.S. Olympics Trials on June 28.

Wales, who finished 13th out of 24 of the best javelin throwers in the U.S., missed the cut for the Paris Olympics but knows the experience at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, will fuel her for the next chapter of her javelin journey.

“It was really special,” Wales said. “ I missed the 2021 trials because of surgery, so watching on the couch was not fun at all. I just kept thinking back to 2021 and how excited I was to be back in the trials. I was at the trials in 2016, but I was so young since I was still in college. This one was a surreal moment after working through all the adversity before this.”

Wales was among 15 LSU alumni competing at the Olympic Trials, along with Sha’Carri Richardson, Vernon Norwood, and Lolo Jones, among others.

But competing on the biggest stages has been part of Wales’ athletic journey since her prep days at West Monroe High School, where she won state titles in 2012 and 2013.

Between her days as a Rebel and formative years at LSU as a two- time SEC Champion (2015, 2017), Wales felt comfortable on the Olympic Trials stage.

“Being at West Monroe, it was a powerhouse for sports when I was there. We won football state titles, the softball team went to the state tournament too. The environment made me want to be the best,” Wales said. “And then at LSU, even coming in as freshmen, I would see people training that weren’t college students and I didn’t understand what was happening. Those were Olympians coming back to train.

"The expectations were always high. It was never you’re on the team to be on the team. You were on the team to make the national team and make the trials and make the Olympics. You are what you surround yourself with and that’s where I learned how to compete at the highest level.”

Wales, a three-time All-American from 201517, now works at Jamie Dendy Consulting in Ruston, while also training periodically at Louisiana Tech’s facilities.

With her sights set on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, Wales said her upcoming training will focus on building strength rather than specific javelin throws.

“I think I could use more throwing power,” Wales said. “My shoulder is not anywhere it needs to be right now, and I think I’m going to focus on getting stronger. I’m going to take a year off from straight javelin throwing and just focus on getting stronger. And I need to get faster coming down the runway as well when I’m training.”

The 2024 Olympics begin July 26 in Paris, France.