Click the play button above to listen to how Kara and Russ Winger support each other and what life is like for a couple who are both athletes.

Kara and Russ Winger


Kara Winger’s family moved a lot growing up. She lived in seven different houses before fifth grade, which she remembers as the time when children have established strong relationships from their friends as they head to middle school.

“I found most of my identity in sports,” she said. “I kept playing sports because that’s what my constant was throughout my growing up years. Because I developed that habit, it was just easy to keep as the focus of my life rather than being vulnerable to friendships in other places.”

A three-time Olympian in javelin, Winger continues to train for Tokyo 2021. Part of her support team is her husband Russ, an international competitor in the discus and shotput.

Listen to this StoryCorps conversation as the Wingers discuss what goes into being a successful athlete, getting noticed in the airport, their travel travails and Russ’s favorite role, being Kara’s nutritionist.


A Native American from tiny Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Billy Mills surged down the stretch to win the 10,000-meter run at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history.
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