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Boris Berian was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado at an altitude of 6,100 feet. Most in the track and field world would tell you that this altitude is perfect for runners.
Berian first began running as a sprinter in seventh grade. In high school, Berian won the Colorado state high school title twice in the 400 and 800 meters. After high school, he ran at Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado winning the Indoor and Outdoor NCAA Division II National Championship during his freshman year. Boris left Adams State after competing only one year. He got a job working at McDonald’s and slept on a friend’s couch at night. His mother wanted him to become a firefighter or police officer. Berian felt he could do more with his running and just needed time. His friends and mother weren’t convinced this was the path to follow. However, Berian had confidence in himself as a runner. “I continued to run because I was so good in high school,” says Berian. “The potential just kept me going.”
SPORT: Track & Field – 800m
BORN: December 19, 1992
HOMETOWN: Colorado Springs, CO
HEIGHT: 6 ft
WEIGHT: 157 lbs
COLLEGE: Adams State University
OLYMPIC MEDALS: None to date
OTHER TITLES/NOTABLE WINS: 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships – Gold Medalist
In high school, Berian ran the 400 in 46.9 seconds but after his brief college stint, he had been all but forgotten. In November 2014, Berian was contacted by Carlos Handler and his wife, Brenda Martinez, from the Big Bear Track Club in California and was invited to join. Berian quit his job at McDonald’s to begin training and soon he was doing high-volume high intensity training. Running with a new program helped him improve his time almost immediately. “I feel really lucky to have been able to work with Handler and Martinez. They saw my talent,” says Berian.
In 2016, Berian won the Indoor World Championship in Portland, Oregon. After the World Championship, Berian went on to place second in the 800 Meter Finals during the 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials which earned him a spot on the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team. Competing in the 2016 Olympic Games was a dream come true and although he didn’t medal, Berian has plans to compete in Tokyo in 2020.