Maneater Long Reads: Reaching for Rio

The Maneater looks into 13 Missouri Tigers with a chance to make the Olympics and the process to get there.
Michael Chadwick swims in the summer of 2015 while training with SwimMAC Carolina. Roy Burch/Courtesy of Michael Chadwick

Dom Bradley is back where his wrestling journey began: Blue Springs, Missouri.

The 26-year-old lifts, runs and practices under his high school wrestling coach. Bradley likes the sense of familiarity. He likes working with a coach he trusts.

But Bradley’s dream ranges far beyond the walls of Blue Springs High School. The dream pushes him through grueling workouts. It keeps him focused on small improvements. It goes beyond state lines and national borders.


In August, the home of over 6 million Brazilians will play host to the world’s largest sporting event: the Olympic Games.

Bradley is one of a small number of Missouri students or graduates who have a chance to make the Olympics this summer.

The journey to Rio has been years in the making. The athletes have taken different paths to this defining moment in their lives. Some have come close to qualifying in the past while others are taking their shot for their first time. These athletes play different sports and have traveled the world training and competing.

Rio could be the highest stage they ever reach.

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