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Marriage counselor by day, Olympic discus thrower by night

Carlinville native Kelsey Card throws discus at an Olympic level while saving relationships as her day job

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — Carlinville native Kelsey Card is a two-time Olympian discus thrower who also happens to be good at saving relationships. Card participated in both the Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

"So, I'm a marriage and family therapist in my day job and a professional discus thrower by the other part," said Card. "When I've had a tough day at therapy work, I can say, 'Well, I'm going to go throw something, and I can and not get in trouble for it.'"

Card says she doesn't advertise that she's a professional athlete, but many of her clients find out when they search her name online or when they have an appointment rescheduled for a track and field event, like the Olympics.

At 28 years old, Card went into the Tokyo Olympics ranked 23rd in the world for discus. She broke NCAA records when she attended the University of Wisconsin, and though said she — in her words — had a disappointing finish in Tokyo, she knows the sun will rise again.

She says female throwers typically don't peak until they're in their early 30s, making room for a possibility of training for the 2024 Olympics in Paris — something her biggest fans would love to see.

"I remember down in Rio, she actually took us to the Olympic Village," Tom Card, Kelsey's father, said. "That was really special." 

This year the Card family cheered on their favorite Olympian from afar, as they were prohibited from attending the Olympic games with growing COVID concerns in Japan.

Though Card did not advance to the finals, she said she is really grateful to everyone who supported her from a distance, and she could always give them a chance to cheer her on again.

"I feel like I will keep throwing as long as that is something I look forward to," said Card. "It may be hard. It may suck in the moment. I may want to throw something other than a discus, but it's my escape. It's my happy place."