On Saturday, Aug. 13, Tori Bowie took silver in the 100 meters, Galen Rupp took fifth in the 10,000 meters and Jeff Henderson won the long jump with a leap of 8.38m. In the women’s marathon on Sunday, Aug. 14, the U.S. captured sixth (Shalane Flanagan), seventh (Desi Linden), and ninth (Amy Cragg). Sunday night, Keturah Orji set an AR in the triple jump of 14.71m, placing fourth. LaShawn Merritt took the bronze in the 400m, and Justin Gatlin took the silver in the 100 meters. On Monday, Emma Coburn set an AR of 9:07.63 and took bronze in the 3000m steeplechase. Clayton Murphy took the bronze in the 800m, running 1:42.93. And in the 400 meters, Allyson Felix took the silver in the 400 meters in a fantastic race with Shaunae Miller. This morning, Aug. 16, I witnessed Christian Taylor defend his gold medal from London with a 17.86m TJ and Will Claye duplicate his silver medal from London in 17.76m.
But the story I want to leave you with happened on Sunday night. In the men’s pole vault, Brazilian Thiago Braz Da Silva gave his country, the host of this Olympics, its first title in the pole vault. The defending champion, Rene Lavillenie, led with four straight first-attempt clearances. Da Silva was down to one more: Make it and win, or miss and get the silver. On his second attempt, Da Silva cleared a new Olympic record, 6.03 meters! After missing twice at that height, Lavillenie moved the height to 6.08 meters. He missed and had to settle for silver. Da Silva took the gold.
The crowd went crazy, screaming “Thiago, Thiago” for an hour! I walked home to our Airbnb, aware that just outside the stadium most people couldn’t afford a ticket to the Olympic Games, but they would be proud that their young countryman, Thiago Braz Da Silva, brought home a gold medal.