Teen moving to Olympic Training Center with Tokyo 2020 dreams - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Teen moving to Olympic Training Center with Tokyo 2020 dreams

16-year-old Jacob Waters of Ragley has been selected to the residency program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. (Source: KPLC) 16-year-old Jacob Waters of Ragley has been selected to the residency program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. (Source: KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A Ragley teen who has dreamed of competing in the Olympics is one huge step closer to seeing that become his reality!  16-year-old Jacob Waters is a competitive cyclist inspiring everyone who learns his incredible story.

This teen cyclist is just a couple of days away from the move a lifetime to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"It's awesome to think that I might be training next to an Olympian, or something like that, like some of the best in the world...it's going to be exciting," said Jacob.

Jacob recently won the national title in track racing, beating out the country's best competitors - and he was the only one racing with just one leg.

"For the track race, I don't think people expected me to do so well, because most of those guys didn't know me," he said.

But boy, do they know his name now.

Jacob made the decision when he was just 10 years old to have his leg amputated below his knee after numerous surgeries connected to a genetic condition.

Jacob is a fierce competitor, who has had his eyes set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics since he started racing three years ago.

"My plan is to go to the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, take home the gold, at least one gold medal," said Jacob.

Team USA coaches see so much promise in Jacob that he has been selected to the residency program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

"Five of us made it and we're going to be competing to keep these spots from other people through the years, so we can live there until 2020," he said.

Jacob will be cycling, lifting weights, working with the top coaches and nutritionists, and rubbing elbows with past and future Olympians.

"I'm a little nervous, because I'm going to be doing a lot of training and working out, plus school," he said, "and I know I'm going to be missing home on top of that."

Mom Misti cannot help but get misty-eyed thinking about the boy she has traveled the country with for competitions chasing these big dreams.

"It's like the ultimate victory in a sense," said Misti, "but on the other hand, being so close to him, it's also devastating emotionally.  But to say we're proud is an understatement."

It is a lot for the family to take in: huge dreams and huge sacrifices.  Still, this potential Olympian reminds us he is not so far removed from typical teen struggles.

Here is what he had to see about one of his biggest challenges today:

"Algebra II.  That's been pretty tough on me," said Jacob.

From the books to the bike, Jacob promises he will make Southwest Louisiana proud at his new home.

Jacob will make the move to Colorado Springs this weekend.  Misti says she and her husband already have a Tokyo 2020 savings account so they can cheer on their son in person.

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