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"Hollywood" comes home to Atlanta, gives back through RunJumpThrow

9/16/2016
 

Kristi Castlin may love the glitz of the West Coast and even spent part of the year in Los Angeles for training, however, the first-time Olympic bronze medalist never loses sight of where it all began.


"This is my home, my heart, my area..." she remarked after spending the morning dancing and exercising with students at Burgess-Peterson Academy in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday.


She came to the elementary school - just down the street from her great-grandmother's house - to participate in a USATF RunJumpThrow event. The youth program, in partnership with Hershey, teaches children fundamental fitness skills to encourage physical activity. Thursday's event included over 100 students and was part of USATF’s Victory Tour to celebrate 2016 Olympic medalists.


Throughout the morning children rotated through six stations, featuring activities such as practicing relay handoffs, jumping, crab walks and more. The stations were supervised by USATF volunteers and national office staff members.


"It feels good to be part of this event in my hometown where I've received so much love,” Castlin said. “I just want them to know about my journey and the journey that it takes to be an Olympian. To get a medal, for something like that where there's only three people in the entire world to get that... it's super exciting to be able to come back and share that with them."


Kristi’s road to Rio was headline news back in July as the 100m hurdles women’s team, arguably the toughest event at the U.S. Olympic Trials, consisted of three first-time Olympians. The Chapel Hill high school graduate finished third in a loaded field which included American record holder Keni Harrison. Harrison went on to break the 100m hurdles world record a few weeks later and ended the season as the IAAF Diamond League champion.


In Rio, Team USA dominated and made history with the first ever sweep in the event. Teammates Brianna Rollins (gold) and Nia Ali (silver) embraced Kristi and stood for the now-iconic photo holding three American flags.


Returning home as an Olympic medalist, Kristi is proud to share the glory with her fans. Students basked in awe of their hometown hero, rushing around her to catch a glimpse of her medal and pushing for hugs and high-fives. And Kristi, ever the energetic athlete, was game for anything. When DJ Krazy T cranked up Silento's "Watch Me," she joined along in unison.


“It feels good to come home. Just walking through the airport, walking through the grocery store, to be recognized… I just want them to be able to see me and really have access to me while I'm here."


USATF Victory Tour continues in Los Angeles on September 20. For more information on RunJumpThrow, visit http://runjumpthrow.usatf.org/.



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