Jared Ward finished sixth in the 2016 Olympics and hopes to make another run in the 2020 Olympics. But the 29-year-old is also a husband, father, an active Mormon and a statistics professor at Brigham Young University. A new video released Monday by Olympic Channel highlights the different aspects of Ward’s life.
“It’s easier to juggle a lot of things going on in life when you love all of them,” Ward explains in the video as he is shown reading the Book of Mormon with his wife and two small children. “I couldn’t be more blessed than to have the family that I have. My ecclesiastical life is very important to me too, and I love that and am grateful for the spiritual connection that I feel like I have with my God.
“I love the academic side and I love helping students and I love doing research and I love running. And oftentimes there is a lot going on, so sometimes it feels like a balancing act; sometimes it feels like I’m blessed with a day full of things that I love.”
The video shares that Ward’s journey to the Olympics as a marathoner began with BYU’s track and field coach and former Olympic marathon and long-distance runner Ed Eyestone, who calls him “an efficient runner.”
“I think Coach Eyestone always had a vision of the marathon for me in the long run, long before I did, and that was an intimidating thought to me. A marathon was four times the distance that I had ever raced,” Ward recalled.