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Colorado triathlete makes Olympic history with 6th-place finish

Kevin McDowell did not medal, but he still made history at the Olympic Games on Sunday.

TOKYO, Japan — Kevin McDowell, a first-time Olympian who currently lives and trains in Colorado Springs, made history at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

McDowell finished sixth in the men's triathlon. While out of a medal spot, it is the best finish by an American man in Olympic history. 

The 28-year-old is from Illinois and went to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. According to Team USA, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011 and took six months off to complete chemotherapy before returning to elite competition just a year later. 

He recently celebrated 10 years of being cancer-free. 

RELATED: Meet the Olympic athletes from Colorado

Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt won the men’s triathlon in a time of one hour, 45 minutes and four seconds, 11 seconds ahead of Britain’s Alex Yee.

New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde was third.

Credit: AP
Kevin McDowell of Team United States (52), Casper Stornes (45) and Marten van Riel of Belgium compete during the run portion of the men's individual triathlon at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Blummenfelt is the first Norwegian to medal in triathlon, which combines swimming, cycling and running. He finished 13th in the Rio Games in 2016.

Blummenfelt was in fifth after the 1,500-meter swim and 40-kilometer cycling legs of the race before surging to the win in the final stage.

Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee, who won silver in Rio and bronze in London in 2012, finished sixth.

The Associated Press Contributed to the report.

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