SOUTHEAST KS – With the “Tokyo Olympics” set to begin a little more than a month from now, you’ll watch many of the games on KSN, athletes from all over the world are preparing to compete against the best.
One of those athletes is a Southeast Kansas native.
In fact, he’s back in the area this week, competing in the “U.S. Open Sporting Clays Championship” in Columbus.
“There’s a lot of stress that builds up and it’s just a snow ball effect, so once you finally get through the trials and have completed that monumental task of making the team is just an amazing relief.” Says Derrick Mein, US Olympian.
And for Walnut, Kansas’ very own Derrick Mein, his team is the best of the best.
“I’ve made the Tokyo Olympic team, getting to represent the United States of America in men’s trap.” Says Derrick.
For Mein, the journey to the top started a long time ago. he was just a child when he took up shooting with his father.
“He started about the same time I did, he was 8, I was almost 40.” Says Rick Mein, Derrick’s Father. “I started off a little bit better than him, but then he caught up with me,” he continues. “I don’t know if I ever beat him, but what I tell people is I taught him everything I know but then he learned something from somebody else, so that’s why he beats me.”
Mein’s skill continues to grow and even brought him to the Olympic Trials in 2008. However, he missed out by just one target.
But he didn’t stop, and now he’s earned his spot.
A huge wave of relief swept over him, and not even the pandemic could stop the feeling.
“Once they kind of announced that “hey we’re just postponing it by a year,” it was even more of a relief, because it just allowed me to put things away and really decompress for a couple of months.” Says Derrick.
Now Derrick has one goal in mind, represent his home, the best way he can.
“Everybody’s got to be from somewhere and just because he’s a farm kid from the farm doesn’t mean he can’t win the Olympic gold, I think it’s great you know.” Says Rick.