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'I'm there to compete': Spartan track star headed to 2024 Summer Olympics

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 26, 2024
  • Spartan graduate student Heath Baldwin won the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and has qualified for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
  • Baldwin says he's excited for the opportunity but is hungry for more than just the opportunity to represent Team USA.
  • Video shows Baldwin talking about his path to the Olympics, describing the moment he qualified, and what comes next for him.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

I'm your East Lansing Neighborhood Reporter Colin Jankowski. Every athlete dreams of one day competing on the biggest stage. Whether it's the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, or the Olympics. For one Spartan track star, that dream will soon be a reality.

From the starting block to the finish line, Spartan grad student Heath Baldwin has had a unique path to this point in life.

"I started off at the University of Michigan my first two years," Baldwin said. "And then I ended up deciding to transfer my sophomore year and come over here to Michigan State."

In 2023, Baldwin's accolades piled higher than his hurdles. All-American. Big Ten indoor heptathlon champion. But now...

"In the back of my head I always thought it might be a possibility that I could do this," Baldwin said.

The lights will shine as bright as they get...

"I kind of knew that the fifth year was going to be an Olympic year," Baldwin said.

As he heads to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics after winning the decathlon at the U.S. Track and Field Trials.

"When I came through the line, I saw my brother and my mom and went and talked with them for a couple seconds and kind of soaked in the moment," Baldwin said.

Baldwin is the first Spartan to qualify for the Olympic decathlon since 2004.

"Being able to represent Michigan and Michigan State, and all the people that have supported me over the past couple of years means a lot," he said.

As Baldwin rests this week before beginning training, he says he's hungry for more than just the opportunity to be on Team USA.

"I don't want to be content with just going," he said. "Like I'm there to compete. I just want to contend for a medal and actually represent in a good way rather than just being there to be there."

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