Two years ago, he set two junior college records on the same day while running for an eastern Iowa community college. Today, he won an Olympic silver medal.

Kenny Bednarek was running for Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa in 2019 when he became the first athlete in U.S. history to run the 200-meters in less than 20 seconds and the 400-meters in less than 45 seconds. He did it on the same day at the National Junior College Athletic Association Championships in May of 2019.

In Tokyo today, Bednarek flew like the wind again with a personal best time of 19.68 seconds. Amazingly, it wasn't fast enough for the gold medal in a race that featured a very close and exciting finish. Andre De Grasse of Canada covered the 200 meters 6-hundredths of a second faster than Bednarek:

Bednarek grew up in Rice Lake, Wisconsin before moving on to Indian Hills in Ottumwa. 24-year-old Noah Lyles captured the 200-meter bronze for the United States. Lyles was the reigning world champion in the 200-meters.

Athletics - Olympics: Day 12
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The People's Republic of China leads the Olympics with 32 gold medals thus far. The United States is second with 25 but leads the overall medal count with 79. The People's Republic of China is second with 70, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee with 53.

The Tokyo Olympic Games continue through this Sunday, August 8. Track and field events conclude on Saturday.

LOOK: 20 Fascinating Photos From the First Modern Olympic Games in 1896

To celebrate the history of international sports cooperation, Stacker took a look back at that groundbreaking event in Athens, when the modern Olympics were born in 1896. Keep reading to learn more about the athletes, spectators, and sports at that iconic event.

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