Rio 2016: Joe Kovacs’ Olympic Journey

Rio 2016: Joe Kovacs’ Olympic Journey

Joanna Kovacs' son, Joe, will be throwing the shot put for the U.S. in the 2016 Olympic Games. As an athlete and a single mom, Joanna was mother, father and even coach to Joe throughout his accomplished career. For more inspiring stories like this one, subscribe to Guideposts magazine.

  • Joe Kovacs and his mother, Joanna, as pictured in a church directory photo in 2006

    Joe Kovacs and his mother, Joanna, as pictured in a church directory photo in 2006

  • Joe and Joanna celebrate his first shot-put throw over the 70-foot mark in Boston in 2014.

    Joe and Joanna celebrate his first shot-put throw over the 70-foot mark in Boston in 2014.

  • Joe competes in the Men's Shot Put during the IAAF Diamond League 2016 on May 14, 2016, in Shanghai, China.

    Joe competes in the Men's Shot Put during the IAAF Diamond League 2016 on May 14, 2016, in Shanghai, China.

  • Joe celebrates after winning gold in the Men's Shot Put in the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Beijing National Stadium on August 23, 2015.

    Joe celebrates after winning gold in the Men's Shot Put in the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Beijing National Stadium on August 23, 2015.

  • Joe displays his gold medal at the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships.

    Joe displays his gold medal at the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships.

  • Joe and Joanna near the beach at Chula Vista, California, where Joe trained for the Olympic Trials

    Joe and Joanna near the beach at Chula Vista, California, where Joe trained for the Olympic Trials

  • Joe poses for a portrait at the USOC Rio Olympics Shoot at Quixote Studios in Los Angeles, California.

    Joe poses for a portrait at the USOC Rio Olympics Shoot at Quixote Studios in Los Angeles, California.

  • Joe (right) qualified for the 2016 Olympics, his first, by finishing second at the United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

    Joe qualified for the 2016 Olympics, his first, by finishing second at the United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

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