Team USA’s shot putters have had a rough go of it in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Raven Saunders lost her mother days after taking home the silver medal. Ryan Crouser took home the gold. However, he lost his grandfather the day before he left for Tokyo.
After Ryan Crouser secured his first-place finish, he held a small hand-written sign up to the cameras. With that sign, Crouser dedicated his win to his late grandfather. It read, “Grandpa, We did it. 2020 Olympic champion!” Check out the photos taken just after his win below.
It’s important to note that Ryan Crouser didn’t take the time to write the note. He pulled it out of his bag to show the cameras. Crouser knew that he was going to bring home the gold before his first throw. After all, he broke the Olympic record for the event in the qualifiers and took home the gold in the event in the 2016 Rio Olympics. On top of that, Crouser had his grandpa looking down on him. Really, he couldn’t lose.
Ryan Crouser wouldn’t be the athlete he is today without his grandfather’s influence. He attempted his first throw in his grandpa’s backyard, according to an NBC report. The rest of Crouser’s family couldn’t be there due to Olympic COVID restrictions. However, he knew that his grandfather was there in spirit, watching him break records and take home the gold.
Highlights From Ryan Crouser’s Big Win
Ryan Crouser didn’t just take home his second consecutive gold medal for shot put. He dominated the event with not one but two record-breaking throws.
Crouser set the world record in the shot put before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics started. He threw a massive 23.37 meters at Hayward Field in his home state of Oregon back in June, according to World Athletics. So, he went into the Olympic competition on top of the world. Then, his first throw of the finals set the Olympic record at 22.83 meters. He wasn’t done, though. His second throw broke the record he set moments before. That throw went 22.93 meters. That wasn’t enough for the Oregon native, though. His third throw landed at 23.30, just shy of his world-record throw. NBC had full coverage of the event.
Ryan Crouse holds the world record for shot put as well as the second-longest throw. He also holds the Olympic record two times over. This is his second consecutive gold medal in the event.
Interestingly, the podium looked exactly the same as it did at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Two Americans took the top slots. Ryan Crouser took gold and Joe Kovacs took silver. New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh took home the bronze medal.