The Olympics officially start on Friday and we cannot wait! To really get us in the mood we took a deep dive into the Games of yesteryears for a look back at the best track and field moments. Creating this list was almost as hard as training for a marathon because there are so many amazing moments and athletes in this sport. These 5 really left us feeling inspired to lace up and get ready for The bRUNch Olympics and the Tokyo Olympics!
1. Pole Vaulting to that Wheaties Box
In 2000, the women’s pole vault was added as an Olympic event. After missing the first two attemps at 14’9”, Stacy Dragila cleared her third and then won the event at 15’1”. To sweetened it up even more, she attempted to break her own world record with an attempt at 15’2”. The only thing we are clearing around here is our plates. This win was so inspiring that when she returned home, she got her face on the coveted Wheaties box. Now that’s cereal-lously the best!
2. Family Affair with Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Al Joyner
You know those siblings where one sibling does something and then the other wants to do it too. Meet the Joyners. In 1984 in Los Angelos, Al Joyner won the gold medal in the men’s triple jump, while his sister Jackie went home with the silver in the heptathlon. They became the first U.S. siblings to ever medal in the same Olympics. This is proof that when you surround yourself with people with similar goals together you can reach them and that a support system is clutch to success.
3. US Sweeps 400 Meters in Beijing
In 2008 LaShawn Merritt, Jeremy Wariner and David Neville brought it all to the track and swept the podium in the 400 meters. This was the fifth American sweep of the event in Olympic history. Neville really was the one to make it happen as he dove across the finish line.
4. Evelyn Ashford is Golden
Winning a gold medal once is a hard effort but winning three consecutive gold medals at three different Olympics shows that you are at the top of your sport. Evelyn Ashford was a member of the U.S. women’s 4x100-meter relay team in 1984, 1988 and 1992. In all three of these Olympics the team took home the gold. Add in the individial medals she won and the length of her career and you will understand why this women is a GOAT in the track world. One of our favorite facts, in 1992 in Barcelona at the age of 35, Evelyn became the oldest woman to ever win a gold medal in track and field. This is just more proof that we can all be our own GOAT at any age.
5. Allyson Felix is Our Hero
It is no secret that we have a total girl crush on Allyson Felix. This woman is so inspiring and a hero of ours. At the age of 18, she won the silver in the 200 meters in Athens. Fast forward and a silver medal and gold medal in the relay later, Felix won her first individual gold medal in 2012 in London. This makes Felix one of just a few runners to win Olympic titles in all three sprint distances. We cannot wait to see what she does this year in Tokyo.