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Ohio State grad, Olympic hopeful working to inspire kids in home country

An Ohio State University graduate is training for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. But Maggie Barrie isn't just looking to win medals — she also wants to inspire kids in her home country.

An Ohio State University graduate is training for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. But Maggie Barrie isn't just looking to win medals — she also wants to inspire kids in her home country.

“Sierra Leone is a third-world country. It doesn't have a lot of resources. It went through a lot of turmoil and war. There's a lot of people who don't have opportunities that I do. As a young athlete, I promised myself I would always give back to my country. I wouldn't just be on TV — just represent them — I want to make a difference for young athletes,” Barrie said.

She started a shoe drive with a few of her lightly-used running shoes, then her teammates and coaches soon joined in. Barrie and her dad handed out the shoes in Sierra Leone last week.

I cried.. 😭 So a couple days ago I talked about doing a free shoe drive in Sierra Leone, West Africa. (Check my IGTV or profile to see more details). Together my teammates and I were able to gather a huge amount of running shoes & spikes for both boys and girls. My dad went to Sierra Leone and donated every single pair personally to young athletes that needed them. Above is the footage of me face timing with them after they got their shoes. I cried while doing this and honestly there is NO better feeling in the world than giving back to others. That’s all I can say… ⭐️ I’m showing this on my profile because later this summer I’m doing this shoe drive again. I hope more people can join in with me so I can give shoes to other parts of Sierra Leone such as Kenema and Bo. My dad and I are working on the logistics but by June or July I will be offering free shipping slips so people can send in their shoes with no charge! So stay tuned for that. But thank you to my teammates @bri_thaboss @jimnorth_ , coach @iam_clutch and my mom & dad for helping me with this. The reactions and happiness of the young athletes was soo worth it! . . . . . #fitnessinfluencer #fitnessmotivation #trackandfield #tracknation #trackandfieldlife #tracklife #athletisme #toykoolympic #helpothers #sierraleone #maggiebarrie #blackfitness #ebonyfitness #lifestyleinfluencer #charityevent

A post shared by ☆ Maggie Barrie ☆ (@maggieb.fitness) on


“To them, it was a huge difference. They don't have those things,” Barrie said.

She's going to have another shoe drive in July to be able to give more athletes the step up she got.

“I'm going to use my influence on Instagram or as a racer or competitor and give them supplies, shoes and advocate any way I can so when I'm done with track, I leave a legacy,” Barrie said.

You can find Barrie's Instagram page here.