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Ryan Crouser Dedicates Shot Put Gold Medal to His Late Grandfather

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: a touching moment at the Olympics, Megan Rapinoe’s stunning goal and more.

He made his grandpa proud

Ryan Crouser locked up his second consecutive gold medal in the shot put and then held up a handwritten sign to the camera.

“Grandpa, We did it,” it read. “2020 Olympic Champion.”

Crouser’s grandfather, Larry Crouser, was the person who introduced him to the shot put. Ryan practiced in his grandpa’s backyard in Oregon until he became strong enough that one throw went through the roof of the garden shed.

Larry was there to support Crouser as he blossomed into the most dominant shot putter in the world. At Texas, Crouser won four NCAA championships and then took gold in Rio. In recent years, after Larry lost his hearing, Crouser would sit with him and write him notes to communicate.

Larry died last month, the day before Crouser left for Tokyo, but he was still a source of strength as Crouser prepared to defend his Olympic title. A few days before the competition, Crouser was feeling anxious. American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks had been knocked out of the competition by a positive COVID-19 test and Crouser was worried about the possibility of the virus sending him home empty handed. To calm his nerves, he took out a marker and a piece of paper and wrote a note to his grandpa, hoping to show it to the world after the competition.

“That was the last note I wanted to write to him,” Crouser told reporters.

Crouser’s performance in the final was spectacular. He bested his own Olympic record with three of his six throws. His final throw was the longest of the day, measuring 23.30 meters (76.4 feet), just .07 meters shy of the world record he set at the Olympic trials in June.

Crouser’s grandpa was alive to see him shatter the 31-year-old world record and, because the trials were in Oregon, Crouser was able to pay him a visit after.

The note he passed him was straightforward: “World-record holder.”

“He watched that throw on the iPad, thousands and thousands of times,” Crouser told reporters on Thursday. “He’s been my biggest fan.”

Last call!

One last reminder about the giveaway in Tuesday’s Hot Clicks. I still have one prize pack to award.

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