Who are Kenny Bednarek's parents? Silver-winner in men's 200m was very 'clumsy child', says mom
American sprinter Kenny Bednarek has won the silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics 200-meter men's final sprint. The Rice Lake native finished with a personal best time of 19.68, just behind Canada's Andre de Grasse, who secured gold with his own personal best of 19.62. The other two Americans in the race, Noah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton finished in third and fourth place respectively.
Bednarek had run a 19.83 in the semi-finals, finishing in second behind de Grasse to qualify for the finals of the 200m event. He was a winner in his first race of the Tokyo Olympics games as he won his heat, running the fastest time in the quarterfinals with a time of 20.01. That race saw Lyles post the third fastest time at 20.18. With Bednarek's stunning podium finish, many are interested in his personal life, including his doting family and coach.
Friends and fans of Bednarek inundated social media with congratulatory messages. "@KennyBednarek man I told you the day I met you this moment will happen. Congrats," former sprinter Tabarie Tahj Henry tweeted. "So close to gold too. The margin of winning and losing is razor thin at that level. Good for him!" one fan wrote.
"@KennyBednarek Relentless pursuit Congratulations it doesn't matter where you start it's how you finish," another added. "Kenny Bednarek becomes the first former @IHCCrunning alum to win an Olympic medal, winning the silver in the men's 200-meter dash lowering his personal-best to 19.68 seconds," a comment read.
.@KennyBednarek man I told you the day I met you this moment will happen. Congrats— Tabarie Tahj Henry, OLY (@iFearGodNotThem) August 4, 2021
So close to gold too. The margin of winning and losing is razor thin at that level. Good for him!— Dave Olesczuk (@daveole) August 4, 2021
@KennyBednarek Relentless pursuit Congratulations it doesn't matter where you start it's how you finish— Velocity Stakes (@VelocityStakes) August 4, 2021
Kenny Bednarek becomes the first former @IHCCrunning alum to win an Olympic medal, winning the silver in the men's 200-meter dash lowering his personal-best to 19.68 seconds.— Scott Jackson (@CourierScott) August 4, 2021
Who are Kenny Bednarek's parents?
Bednarek gained the nickname Kenny the Jet in high school because of his sheer sprinting talent. The 22-year-old is currently studying at the Indian Hills Community College in Iowa and plays for their college team, Indian Hills Warriors. Kenny's mother is Mary Ann Bednarek. She told WEAU earlier this year how she noted her son was a very uncoordinated child and so she never thought he would be where he is today. That said, the details about Kenny's father remain private.
“He was very uncoordinated as a youngster I would have never ever imagined he’d be where he is now when he was four and five years old. I was like boy he’s clumsy,” Mary Ann told WEAU last month. “When you would see him on the track you could see that was where he was happiest … When he was little, I called him my Secretariat. I remember watching Secretariat win by 32 lengths himself and that was Kenny!”
The mother knew her son was fast but did not think it would mean anything for his career. “Big shout out to Coach Sasada because he was like he’s really special and I was like I know he’s my kid and he’s like no no no you don’t understand and at that time as a freshman I didn’t understand I just thought he was Kenny and he runs,” Mary Ann said.
Both Sasada and Mary Ann remember a turning point in Kenny's journey. It was reportedly during his WIAA debut as a freshman in high school. “He came in second and I thought that’s God’s way of saying he’s not ready to cope with all of that,” said Kenny’s mother. “It was a wake-up call when he lost those races at state ... that flipped the switch because he wanted to keep getting better and better,” said Sasada.
However, Kenny said he wanted to be more than just "fine." He wanted to be the greatest of all time. “My whole goal is to be the best to ever do it. To be faster than Bolt,” he told WEAU. “His brother would tease him and say you’re going to be the next Usain Bolt … and that’s his goal. To be the fastest guy in the world,” Mary Ann commented.
“When you look at the competition the closest competition he has is here in the US and he races them all the time ... I really don’t think there’s anything that can stop him from taking the gold medal and being the fastest 200 kid,” Sasada added.