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Samantha Achterberg

USA Olympic Modern Pentathlete

  • 2016 Rio Olympic Alternate

  • 2016 Triathlete World Champion

  • 2016 Biathlete Bronze World Championships

  • 3 time U.S. Senior National Champion

  • 2015 Pan American Games Team member

  • 5 time Senior World Team Member

  • 6 time National Team Member

  • 2012 Junior National Champion

  • Gold medalist Women's team and relay Junior World Championships 2012

My name is Samantha Achterberg, but I usually go by Sammy or Sam. I am 26 years old and have been competing in the sport of Modern Pentathlon since 2010.  I was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, and currently train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.

When I was younger I grew up swimming as well as played tennis and soccer on some local and eventually some competitive teams. My family was very active and I grew up skiing a lot as well as hunting. At about eight years old, I convinced my parents to let me start riding horses and eventually progressed into jumping/ three-day eventing. When I reached high school, I started running cross-country and track and swam for the high school team. I built up a huge passion for running as well as continuing my love for swimming. I was also riding and training my own horse on the side. It was a ton of work juggling all of the sports and school, but it kept me focused and driven. I heard about Pentathlon when I was 14 and thought it was interesting, but crazy that anyone would compete in five events. When I was 17, I became more interested and an opportunity arose to do a camp at the Olympic Training Center in March of 2010 which was followed by my first competition. From this competition, I qualified for Youth World Championships which would be in Uppsala, Sweden. That was just the beginning and little did I know that an odd background of sports and athletics would bring me into such a neat and diverse sport such as modern pentathlon. After high school, I moved to Colorado Springs to train at the Olympic Training Center and pursue an amazing, but challenging, journey of making an Olympic Team in the sport of Modern Pentathlon. 

In 2012, I found out I had a torn labrum in my hip and stress fracture in the neck of my femur. I was devastated as my chances for the 2012 Olympics would be very difficult. After going through the season and rehabbing through the injury; I decided to have hip surgery to repair the torn labrum in November of 2012. After a long few months of rehabbing I came back stronger and made the Junior and Senior World Championships team for the 2013 season as well as placed bronze at the US National Championships, just 7 months after surgery. Although this was a tough process I have learned so much about training smarter to keep myself healthy and on track towards my goal of making an Olympic team and bringing home a medal for team USA. 

I have been attending college through DeVry University during my athletic career and graduated Summa Cum Laude in August of 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Service Management. In July of 2017, I joined the US Army and went off to Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for six months. I am now stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado to train as an athlete in the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) for the US Army.  

I unfortunately fell short of making the Olympic Team for 2016 in Rio as I was ranked the 3rd US female athlete and only two slots per country are allotted. Although it was hard to go through that I am hungrier than ever to make the Olympic team for Tokyo 2020 and work hard for that spot on the podium for Team USA and as a soldier in the US Army. I currently am ranked as the #1 US Female Modern Pentathlete and will be heading into 2019 World Cup season shortly. I know that there is still work to be done, but I am looking forward to the competitions and seasons ahead to continue my journey towards the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. 

Connect with Samantha!
Twitter: @SamanthaAUSA
Facebook: @SamanthaAchterberg
Instagram: @SamanthaAUSA

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