From Rural to Rio: Josh Konieczny Rows into the Olympics
TOLEDO, Oh. (WNWO) - Josh Konieczny grew up on the farm. A couple hundred acres of land just waiting to be made into bales of hay. His father, Tim, had his only son Josh out in the fields daily to help with the family business.
Little did either of them know, it was those days out in the sunny fields of June that would mold the young Milbury kid into a hard-working Olympian.
Josh Konieczny qualified for the 2016 Olympics just a few weeks ago. Go back seven years, and you'd find him graduating as Valedictorian of St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo. Picking up rowing his freshman year, he took advantage of learning a sport very few had experience with. In just his sophomore year, his rowing coach was taking notice of his strides in the sport.
"By sophomore year, he was in the first boat. I mean he was that good," said Rod McElroy. "Slight, but sophomores aren't usually in the first boat."
His work ethic is unmatched. In high school, he once "stole" an erg machine (rowing machine) from the boathouse for an entire winter. Setting it up in the middle of his home as if it was no big deal, Konieczny went to work.
Now, Konieczny is two months away from the Olympics in Rio. With partner Andy Campbell, the two qualified as part of the Lightweight Men's Doubles Sculls event. The two both train and live in Boston leading up to the pinnacle of the sports world.
Not only is Konieczny making his own path, but others are following. St. John's Jesuit's rowing team just qualified for Nationals earlier this month. Every member of the team will row next year in college.
While family remains in Northwest Ohio, Josh has been able to travel the world. Where he goes throughout his life, nobody can be quite sure. We do know, however, there is one guaranteed stop along the way. Rio.