COLLEGE STATION, Texas A Nebraska native will be leaving for Rio in the coming days to compete in an event that’s still relatively new to her.
Nebraska high school track and field programs don’t offer the javelin throw. Neither does Iowa. In fact – most states don’t because of safety concerns.
All that makes it even all the more meaningful that Maggie Malone, who grew up in Geneva, Nebraska, is an Olympian. “Every experience I’ve had in Nebraska has led up to this journey,” said Malone, as she trained in Texas. “To bring all of that with me into Rio keeps me grounded. I’m still a Nebraska girl at heart. Growing up in Nebraska was amazing. A small town. 2,000 people. One stop light.”
Maggie Malone never thought it would be the javelin that would set her apart, since Nebraska high schools don’t offer the event during track and field season.
But athlete is in her DNA.
Her father Danny Malone was a part of Nebraska’s 1970 national championship football team. Her mother, Nancy Kindig was a track All-American at Nebraska in 1982.
“My parents never forced us into sports, but obviously we fell into it and have a love for it,” said Maggie. “I never threw javelin until I was in college. I just did it randomly, I guess. I did long jump and triple jump and played volleyball and basketball and softball. All of those things helped me get to those things.”
Malone graduated from Fillmore Central High School in Geneva, Nebraska.
“Both my parents were coaches and teachers so I was at school all the time. I grew up at the school. I like to say the school was literally my home – and my house was a place I slept, because I was at the gym and the football field all the time.”
She followed her parents’ college path by going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After they moved to Texas though, she switched schools to Texas A & M.
“I want to take every moment in because these are fleeting. I’m blessed,” said Maggie.
2016 has been a whirlwind for her. For someone who came into javelin late in life, Maggie Malone developed a short learning curve.
She set a collegiate record this summer throwing more than 62-meters – or 204 feet, and then posted the best throw at the Olympic Trials to qualify for Rio.
“This season has been crazy. Every goal I’ve set for myself, I’ve surpassed. God has taken the wheel on this. So I don’t know what to expect at this point.”
Maggie Malone’s event is scheduled for Tuesday, August 16 in Rio. The finals will be two days later.
“I never thought I would get to this point. This was such a far-fetched dream that I never let my mind get there. To be able to say, I’m from Geneva, Nebraska – and go from there to such a large stage. It’s such a surreal moment. I’m so grateful for the entire state.”