Ozarks Life: An Olympians Homecoming

Silver medalist Courtney Frerichs returns to Nixa to thank fans following the Tokyo Olympics.
Silver medalist Courtney Frerichs returns to Nixa to thank fans following the Tokyo Olympics.
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 9:33 AM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) -Far from the world spotlight of the Olympics, Nixa’s Courtney Frerichs is still feeling like she’s living in a dream.

“It definitely feels like a dream still,” Frerichs said about her summer. “I mean, I think finally taking some time and celebrating it all is making it more real. I’ve had the (silver) metal on quite a bit more in the last few days. But yeah, I mean, I feel like so much of the summer was so much focus, and then just a really surreal few weeks.”

This past week the hometown girl returned to Nixa. On Tuesday, she showed her support to the young men and women on the Nixa Cross Country team. It wasn’t too long ago she was one of them.

Then on Thursday, another appearance at another one of Courtney’s former sports. She was saying hello to fans before the soccer game at the high school stadium.

“I was really fortunate to have moments like that when I was growing up,” Frerichs said about signing autographs for kids.

“Ms. Hunt’s fifth grade class at Inman, I found out she had taught an Olympic gymnast Taryn Humphrey, who I really looked up to. She reached out to her and got her autograph for me. And that meant the world because it was a small piece of an Olympic dream for me.”

“I think that giving back to those kids and, and showing them that, they can go after their own dreams, whether it be to go to the Olympic Games or attend a certain school or whatever it is, you know. I think that a small bit of inspiration can go a long way.”

Not even two months ago Frerichs found herself in Tokyo. She was one of three U.S. women representing the Red, White, and Blue in the steeplechase. Thousands of miles away, friends and family cheered on their hero at a watch party at the Big Whiskey’s restaurant in Nixa.

“Oh, my gosh, it was amazing,” Frerichs said. “And I was just floored at the number of people that were up at 6 am to watch the race, it was so special.”

And that’s why she’s in Nixa this week. She wanted to look adults and kids in the eyes to say thanks.

“Growing up here, I was always allowed to dream and encourage to dream,” Frerichs said. “Telling people, ‘I want to do the Olympics,’ and people being like, ‘hey, yeah, I think you can do that.’ I think that’s really special. Because, you know, belief is the first step”.

Frerichs is planning to make a run for a third, straight Olympiad in 2024 at the Paris Games.

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