49-year-old Navy veteran hopes for shot at Tokyo Olympics

Japan 2020

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s not a question you would ask many when first meeting them, “How old are you?” For Karlton Meadows age is just a number, but it’s also what makes his story unique.

At 49, he is training with hopes of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. His story doesn’t end there. Meadows is a veteran, who served 20 years in the Navy.

“The Navy was an opportunity for semi-annual pseudo-Olympic Competitions,” Meadows joked, but acknowledged it was a tough road. “There was ups and downs that made me stronger.”

When he retired, he hit the ground running and headed straight for the track at the University of Tampa. While completing his degree, Meadows competed alongside runners half his age on the track team.

In 2016, he failed to qualify for the Olympics in Rio.

“That was a low point for me,” Meadows said.

With one more race on his calendar, Meadows decided not to give up just yet. He ended up taking home a medal in his age group at the USA Outdoor Track Championships and took it as a sign to continue pursuing his dream.

It was also then that he learned he was running on injured feet.

“I went to the podiatrist after the silver medal race and he asked me, ‘You realize you have fractures in both of your feet?'” Meadows said, laughing.

Meadows has since recovered. Now he has a new coach and is training almost every day with hopes of making it to the 2020 Olympics.

“I think it takes a dream first. You got to have a burning dream and then find the resources. It took me 18 years to finish a four-year degree, but I didn’t give up,” he said.

Meadows will learn if he qualifies on Feb. 28.

LATEST OLYMPIC STORIES:

    Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Recent Videos

    Hypertension

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Hypertension"

    Snow Likely To Slow Down The Monday Commute For Many

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Snow Likely To Slow Down The Monday Commute For Many"

    NFP Program

    Thumbnail for the video titled "NFP Program"

    College Softball

    Thumbnail for the video titled "College Softball"

    College Basketball

    Thumbnail for the video titled "College Basketball"

    Top Plays

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Top Plays"

    Mandaree Sexual Abuse

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Mandaree Sexual Abuse"

    Klobuchar Visit

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Klobuchar Visit"

    Starving Rooster Closed

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Starving Rooster Closed"

    Robert's One Minute Forecast 2-23-20

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert's One Minute Forecast 2-23-20"

    MSU Broadcasting Dept.

    Thumbnail for the video titled "MSU Broadcasting Dept."

    College Softball

    Thumbnail for the video titled "College Softball"

    WDA Hockey

    Thumbnail for the video titled "WDA Hockey"

    State Wrestling

    Thumbnail for the video titled "State Wrestling"

    Fire Department Dinner

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Fire Department Dinner"

    High Cholesterol Drug

    Thumbnail for the video titled "High Cholesterol Drug"

    Coronavirus May Become Pandemic in the U.S.

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus May Become Pandemic in the U.S."

    Klobuchar in Fargo

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Klobuchar in Fargo"

    Do Not Call Registry

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Do Not Call Registry"

    Mexican Restaurant One Year

    Thumbnail for the video titled "Mexican Restaurant One Year"
    More Video

    KX News Trending Stories

    Don't Miss

    Daily Pledge

    More Daily Pledge