Olympics star melts hearts with handwritten note

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Aug 2021, 4:15PM
Ryan Crouser of the United States displays a message after winning the men's shot put final. (Photo / Getty)
Ryan Crouser of the United States displays a message after winning the men's shot put final. (Photo / Getty)

Olympics star melts hearts with handwritten note

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Aug 2021, 4:15PM

American athlete Ryan Crouser won gold in the men's shot put final on Thursday, but his handwritten note might have won him even more fans.

Crouser threw a best distance of 23.30m in the final, breaking his own Olympic record which he set five years ago in Rio to finish ahead of fellow countryman Joe Kovacs and Kiwi Tom Walsh.

The 28-year-old celebrated by displaying a message to his late grandfather for the Olympic cameras which read: "Grandpa, we did it, 2020 Olympic champion."

An emotional Crouser explained: "I held up a sign at the end and that was for my grandpa.

"He passed away just over a week ago … He's been my biggest fan.

"I held the note because, at the end, he lost his hearing so I would write whatever I wanted to say to him and he would read it and answer back.

"That was the last note that I wanted to write to him, that I didn't get the chance to. I know he was here with me in spirit.

"I know he would be proud if he was here and I felt like he was here watching me. It was definitely a special day."

Ryan Crouser, centre, celebrates after winning the gold in the final of the men's shot put with fellow American Joe Kovacs (silver) and New Zealand's Tomas Walsh (bronze). Photo / AP

Crouser was dominant from the outset in the final, rushing out to the lead with his first throw.

In fact, five of the American's six throws would have been good enough for gold, with the official winning mark of 23.30m coming from a triumphant final effort.

Walsh was left to duel for silver with Kovacs, who separated himself with a fourth attempt of 22.65m. But Walsh was more than content with a season-best final distance of 22.47m - 59cm clear of fourth place - and a bronze medal.

"I stayed in the fight," Walsh said. "I felt at home out there, which was a really nice feeling to have again, because it's been quite a long time since I've had that."

- with news.com.au