Ali Sadek opened the e-mail and read it, then read it again. It just couldn’t be real.
“Hello Triathlete. Congratulations! Due to your placement at the 2016 Age Group National Championship, you have earned a roll-down spot on Team USA for the 2017 ITU Draft-Legal Sprint Triathlon World Championship in Rotterdam, Netherlands,” it read.
The Dallas International School sophomore had always dreamed of representing his country as a triathlete, but he didn’t think the opportunity would come along so quickly.
“I went to Age Group Nationals in August,” Sadek said. “They took my times, and they said they were pretty good. But honestly, I was quite surprised when I got the e-mail.”
But Sadek was probably the only person surprised by the prestigious invitation. His coaches, classmates and friends know the dedication that he puts into his training, which includes upwards of three hours of swimming, biking and running each day. He often uses the athletic facilities at the University of Texas at Dallas, a privilege afforded by the partnership formed between the university and DIS.
“I train a lot,” Sadek said. “Yesterday, I was at a bike race. Today, it will be something else. Consistency is everything.”
That consistency has helped Sadek reach new heights, but he’s not done.
“I want to go to the Youth Olympics,” he said. “Then I would feel that all my training and hard work and effort will have paid off. To receive a team uniform and be part of the U.S.A. is such a big deal to me. It’s just an honor to represent the U.S.A. outside of the country.”