Local couple takes gold at Olympic Trials
July 17, 2021
Tehachapi has recently been the home to a literal definition of a "power couple."
On June 26, race walkers Robyn Stevens and Nick Christie became our 2020 Olympic Trials Gold Medalists and will be representing TEAM USA at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics!
Robyn Stevens and Nick Christie, who had won the Women's 35km and Men's 50km National Championship, respectively, in February, and the USA Track & Field "Journey to Gold" Chula Vista Field Festival 10,000m Race Walk in May, made their home in Tehachapi for the past year training at middle altitude as preparation for the Olympic Trials that were held in Eugene-Springfield, Oregon on June 26. You may have seen them practicing throughout the Tehachapi area as they covered miles and miles of distance walking at speeds most people can't run.
Stevens’ father, Robert, a Senior Nondestructive Test Engineer for The Spaceship Company in Mojave opened his home in May 2020 to help them have a place to train away from crowded areas during the pandemic. His home gradually became a full gym, from appropriate walking and workout gear to the equipment needed thanks to their sponsors Decathlon and Newfeel, allowing them to keep training at the level required for success during the pandemic.
Both finished with impressive leads over their competitors. Christie’s time of 1:30:48 was 1 minute 11 seconds faster than the second place finisher. This was Christie’s First Olympic Trials GOLD after securing Bronze at the 2016 and 2012 T&F Olympic Trials; Silver at the 2016 50km Olympic Trials and Bronze at the 2020 50km Olympic Trials.
Stevens came across the finish line in a time of 1:35:13, 4 minutes and 12 seconds ahead of second place finisher, 2 time Olympian Maria Michta-Coffey, which represents the largest margin of victory in USA Olympic Trials history, lapping the entire field except for the second place finisher.
At 38 years old, she is the third oldest woman USA race walker to win GOLD at Trials and an Olympic debut. Robyn also qualified for 2004, and the 2016 T&F Olympic Trials after a 11-year hiatus but was injured for both. At the 2020 Men’s 50km Olympic Trials she defended her 50km National Championship title as the fourth “man” to cross the finish line. In Springfield she was only 25 seconds from catching the men’s Olympic Trials bronze medalist, where the men had a 23-second head start on the women.
Probably the most remarkable occurrence of the day and entire Olympic Trials in Eugene-Springfield is when Men’s Winner, Christie, and Women’s winner, Stevens, broke the finish tape together as he finished for the men and she began her bell lap. They not only both won their race, but they broke the finish tape together, are training partners and they are life partners!
This is both their first Olympic Trials GOLD and they’ll be experiencing their first Olympic Team at the Tokyo Olympics together.
The 20km race walks will be contested on Aug. 5 (Men) and Aug. 6 (Women) at the Olympics at 12:20 a.m. PST. Tune into your local NBC station for prime time coverage of the Olympics. Programming will also be featured on NBC Sports Network, USA, CNBC, the NBC Olympics channel, the Golf Channel and Telemundo. Viewers can also stream the games at Peacock, http://www.NBCOlympics.com and http://www.NBCSports.com.
Learn more about our local power couple and cheer along! Follow them on Instagram @robyndesign and @nick.s.christie, and at http://www.walknrobyn.com.