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'I can do that': St. Louis woman inspired by 2000 Olympic triathlon on TV ends up competing in Beijing in 2008

Now retired, Sarah Haskins said the skills she learned as an Olympic athlete translate to life as a mom of three.

ST. LOUIS — Do you ever think "I can do that" while watching the Olympics? That's the exact reaction one St. Louis woman had while watching 21 years ago.

"I did see the Olympic triathlon in the year 2000 on TV and I remember watching that race and thinking to myself 'I really believe that I can do that.," Sarah Haskins said.

Fast forward several years.

"Wow I qualified," Haskins said. "You are such on that high of having that qualification and you just had that focus and that drive. For me, I just achieved one of the biggest dreams of my life since I was a child."

Haskins started her career in 2003 and went pro in 2004. She ended up competing in the triathlon in the 2008 games for Team USA in Beijing, China. Haskins ended up finishing 11th. Then in 2011, she won gold in the Pan American Games. She was coached by her husband, Nate. In 2012 she was an alternate for the games in London. Then she retired.

"It was just time when I retired," Haskins said. "Is it hard now? There are times I miss that feeling of having an amazing workout and just getting the most out of yourself."

Haskins said she misses racing, but not everything that goes with it. She does admit it has helped her in her post-Olympic life.

"Right now my job is full-time mom," Haskins said. "It's a lot of the same skill sets, believe it or not. As an Olympic athlete you're focused on your job 24/7 and as a mom, same thing. 24/7. It's one of the most rewarding jobs ever. But it's definitely a tough job."

Haskins also has some advice to anyone else dreaming big.

"I would say never give up," Haskins said. "Keep working hard. Don't get down on yourself. And most importantly have fun."

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