Maize’s Kelsey Stewart returns home from Tokyo Olympics

Kansas native Kelsey Stewart returns home from Olympics
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Former Maize Eagle Kelsey Stewart is now an Olympian and winner of a silver medal with Team USA Softball.

She landed back in Wichita Tuesday afternoon with the silver Olympic medal around her neck, but she said it still doesn’t feel real.

“I think it’s one of those things where it’s a high you never come down from and I am still super high,” said Stewart.

She’s super high just like the walk-off homerun she smashed into right field on the biggest stage of her career, sending Team USA to the gold medal game.

“When I hit the walk-off home run, I have only ever hit one other walk-off in my career, and I have been playing softball a long time. To hit a walk-off home run on that stage; it was unbelievable. It’s something you dream about as a little kid, but for it to actually happen, you can’t even put into words. I had the best time,” said Stewart.

It’s a moment she also hopes inspires kids with big dreams here in Kansas.

“You can come from a small state and still make it big. So, I think that if I can affect one of those people and their sport takes them to places and give them the experiences I have, I have done my job,” said Stewart.

Her sport took her from the softball diamond in Maize to the University of Florida where she became a back-to-back national champion, to the Tokyo Olympics, a feat she says is possible for anyone who puts in the work.

“You can do anything if you just have a little determination and some heart. Don’t let someone tell you you can’t. Say no, and put your head down and go to work and anything is possible,” Stewart said.

Just like she won’t take no for an answer, she’s not satisfied with a silver medal.

“I’ll be back in 28. I can’t live with this feeling I have about not having a gold medal,” she said.

Stewart will coach her youth teams in Wichita before returning to Chicago to continue her professional career. Softball was removed from the 2024 Olympics, but Stewart said she’ll look to bring home the gold in 2028.

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