Former Badger decathlete Ziemek gears up for Rio - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Former Badger decathlete Ziemek gears up for Rio

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MADISON, Wis. (WKOW) -- In two weeks, the 2016 Summer Olympics will have their opening ceremony and in four weeks Zach Ziemek will begin his two-day competition in the decathlon. Competing against the best athletes in the world and on the world's biggest stage would create some nerves for most, but Ziemek isn't losing any sleep.

"None, a full 9 hours," the recent UW grad says with a laugh, "If I dream and think about the preparation and the work in it then hopefully that will lead to a medal then everything will come true."

The former Badger returned to Madison to train following his third place finish in the U.S. Olympic Track & Field trials in Eugene, Oregon, earlier this month. 

At the trails, Ziemek put up a personal-best 8,413 points along with two event victories. His best event, in his opinion, is the pole vault, one of the events he placed first in at the trials. The 100 hurdles and 1,500 are the areas he wishes to see more improvements. 

Ziemek is one of several former Badgers to represent the red, white, and blue.

"It's great. I mean I would do anything for this school. To represent them in anyway possible is just an honor to be able to graduate from here. I'm a Badger for life so it's awesome that we're taking a nice little group down there and we're gonna show them our best for Wisconsin."

Ziemek departs for Rio on August 7 and will compete in the two-day event August 17-18. 

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