KEARNS – With less than 100 days until the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a Utah man has his sights set on Beijing and the 2022 Winter Games.
Casey Dawson said he commits himself nearly every day to doing hard work in a gym and focusing on the little things that could lead to bigger things.
Like the Olympics.
"That's the pinnacle of sport," he said with a smile. "There's a lot of pride in representing the U.S. at the Olympic Games."
Dawson is a long track speedskater, and a promising one, with Team USA, based at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns.
He got his start in the sport in his hometown of Park City, where most young athletes turn to skiing or snowboarding
"I know that's hard to believe, because I grew up skiing," said Dawson. "I started skiing when I was walking. My dad would take me out skiing in the backyard and make me ski."
However, when his school offered a speedskating class, he decided to sign up. He hasn't slowed down since.
"I fell in love right away. I was in love with the speed aspect," said Dawson.
With less than a year to go until the Beijing 2022 Olympics, Dawson said he knows the next few months are important as he tries make the U.S. Olympic team.
"The last few competitions have been going really well for me. I've seen a lot of improvement over this past season," he said.
That improvement is something the 20-year-old's coach Gabriel Girard believes will continue.
"The past year he's grown tremendously on the ice for results, but also personally. He's just more disciplined and knows where he's going basically," Girard said.
Even if he does not qualify for Beijing, Dawson planned to be even stronger to make the Olympic team for the 2026 games in Italy.
He's also young enough to have a shot at making the 2030 Olympics, which could end up in Salt Lake City if the International Olympic Committee awards the bid to Utah.
"To skate in Salt Lake would mean a lot. It would be cool to skate here at this facility," said Dawson.
That's why he continues to do the little things and the hard work, day after day, when no one is watching.
He believes, eventually, a lot of people will be watching.
"Just taking that next step would be awesome," said Dawson.