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DENVER (KDVR) — Olympic dreams can begin anywhere. And for one Coloradan, those aspirations began in a town north of Fort Collins.

“For me I just feel like a little kid wanting to become an Olympian,” said Yul Moldauer before his first trip to the games. “Still in shock. It’s an unreal feeling.”

From a ranch outside of Wellington, gymnast Yul Moldauer has traveled a long way to get to Tokyo.

He was born in South Korea, adopted and brought to Colorado at 5 months old. 

“We had horses, goats, cows, chickens, ducks,” Moldauer recalled of his childhood as he learned early on the value of hard work. “Growing up on a farm, it takes a lot of hard work. A lot of responsibility. You can’t sleep in, you can’t just skip a day.”

And with a little craftsmanship from his dad, the seeds were planted for Olympic glory. 

“Monkey bars, rings, ladders you can climb,” recalled Moldauer of his parents’ creations. “They saw my form and thought I might be a good gymnast.”

From the ranch to the mat, his family would soon move down to Arvada in search of – well greener pastures. By the age of 9, he would make the junior national team … and in college, lead the University of Oklahoma to three national championships.

“I just told myself one day I could be one of the top guys making the team,” said Moldauer as he enters the games as one of the most-accomplished U.S. male gymnasts and a legitimate contender for medals in multiple events.

“This is what I’ve been growing up to do,” said Moldauer. “This is what I’m built for. You can run with it or you can let it bring you down. For me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”