A Springdale athlete will soon be representing Northwest Arkansas on the world stage. Alex Lewis, 20, made Team USA for the Duathlon World Championship.
In just a few months, Lewis will be trading the trails of Northwest Arkansas for the streets of France. He was one of 20 athletes across the nation who earned a spot on the team.
"I was just sitting there kind of bummed out and then I finally got an email saying that I made Team USA,” Lewis said. “It was just an amazing moment, I can't even explain it."
In September, Lewis will be biking 40 miles and running nine. He'll be the only member of Team USA representing Arkansas.
"I'm pretty big about that I like to say that I'm from Springdale,” Lewis said. “When I go to these big events, I make sure and let everybody knows I'm from here."
Lewis has been competing in triathlon and duathlon events for nearly four years. He didn't have the best equipment, and just started training on his own.
"A typical day would be to ride down to Fayetteville,” Lewis said. “Maybe around Springdale and back, I live on the west side of Springdale so back home."
Lewis trains while working at Lewis and Clark, an outdoors store, and attending the University of Arkansas full time. His dedication has earned him the respect of his colleagues, and a sponsorship from Lewis and Clark.
"At that age and that level, you're having to balance work and school life and training,” said Jared Hintergardt of Lewis and Clark. “It’s really impressive to see him juggle that really well."
And even with a world championship on the horizon, Lewis says he's just getting started.
"I'm going just going to keep working harder and eventually I know I'll make it and I'll be able to look back and say ‘It wasn't an easy road’ and I'll be happy about that,” Lewis says. “[I] just want to make my parents proud."
The 2012 World Championships are set to take place on Sept. 22-23 in Nancy, France.
If you'd like to learn more about Lewis or made a donation to help him get to France, you can visit his website: www.alexlewisteamusatofrance.com