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‘This is Cory’s dream’: Pass Christian native headed to the Olympics

Track star Cory McGee is set to represent the U.S. in Tokyo at the Olympics next month after setting a personal record during Monday’s qualifying race.
Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 9:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:21 AM CDT
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PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - South Mississippi’s own Cory McGee is headed to the Olympics next month in Tokyo after setting a personal best in Monday’s qualifying race, running the 1,500 meter final in just 4:00:67.

The Pass Christian High graduate finished second. She will join Elle Purrier St. Pierre, who placed first, and third-place finisher Heather MacLean as part of the U.S. Olympic team in July.

Watching from back home on Monday was Cory’s biggest fan club: her family and friends. The restaurant Daddy’s in the Pass was filled with Cory’s supporters Monday night, all holding their breath as they watched the qualifying race.

From start to finish, the race was electric, leaving some in the room praying while others anxiously watched. As Cory crossed the finish line, the building filled with tears of joy, loud cheers, and hugs. Of the room full of people, no one cheered louder than Cory’s three sisters.

The race was electric from start to finish. Some were praying, some were screaming, but they all came together to try and will Cory in to the Olympics. As Cory crossed the finish line, celebrations rang out across the establishment, but no-one screamed louder than Cory’s three sisters.

“We were cheering as if we were there with her because I think that we were,” said Cory’s sister Devin Griffith. “There is no way she didn’t feel us there cheering her on.”

Watching their sister fulfill a lifelong dream brought tears to her siblings’ eyes and made them reflect on their humble beginnings.

Cory said she comes from a competitive and athletic family who has always encouraged her to...
Cory said she comes from a competitive and athletic family who has always encouraged her to reach her goals and chase her dreams.(Submitted)

“This is Cory’s dream, and I don’t think we could ever want anything more than to support her and her dream and see her do the only thing she has dreamed about since she was a ten-year old running running down Dale Road,” said Cory’s younger sister Regen McGee.

The ladies showed their support Monday by rocking shirts cheering their sister on but it was the sweatshirt that Cory’s oldest sibling brought out after the race that had everyone smiling.

“You have to have faith,” said sister Shannon McGee as she excitedly held up an Olympic sweatshirt she purchased earlier on Monday.

The Tokyo Games are scheduled to open on July 23.

With that kind of support and over a decade of hard work, it should come as no surprise that Cory ran her fastest competitive time ever on Monday. Tim Ladner, Pass Christian High’s former track coach and athletic director, coached Cory for years. Citing Cory’s work ethic, Ladner said he isn’t surprised by her latest accomplishment.

“I can’t imagine how excited she is but, for us as former coaches and so on, we are just excited for her,” said Ladner.

Cory’s success is only the tip of the iceberg and her determination and hard work is now inspiring youth in the Pass to achieve their own dreams.

“It was amazing. I don’t know how she did it but it shows that if you put in the work, like, anything can happen, even from a small town like Pass Christian,” said Trae Bailey, an eighth grade track and field competitor.

READ MORE: South Mississippi Strong: Cory McGee

Growing up with two athletic parents and three sisters who would all become division one athletes, Cory learned from a young age to work hard if she wanted to achieve her goals.

Cory is a professional runner from Pass Christian who is training to be on the U.S. Olympics...
Cory is a professional runner from Pass Christian who is training to be on the U.S. Olympics team.(WLOX)

“When we were coming home from church just across the street, as soon as we’d get to this fence, we’d hop over and it would actually be a race to the house so always the element of competitiveness,” recalled Cory in a 2019 interview with WLOX.

While in high school, she broke records during high school, winning more than 20 state championships. Once in college at University of Florida, she broke even more records and was named an All-American, received the SEC Female Athlete of the Year award, and qualified for the World Team.

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