It was August of 2012 when American track and field saw something it hadn’t in 38 years. That day witnessed a star. Stars rise to the occasion when they need to most.
On that day, Galen Rupp
was that star.
In the 10,000m Olympic final at the 2012 London Games, Rupp (Portland, Ore.) had the chance to become the first American to medal in the event since Billy Mills won gold in 1964. With his fitness level and preparation as good as any athlete in the field, Rupp delivered that day.
A tactical race, the lead changed hands several times in front of 80,000 fans at Olympic Stadium. But Rupp kept his pace. Focused, he methodically worked his way to the front. With 400 meters remaining, this star prepared to shine in the moment he spent his career preparing.
Rupp maintained fourth position as the bell sounded. Heading into the final 200 meters, he kicked hard. In a field stacked with talent, he trailed Ethiopian sensations Tariku and Kenenisa Bekele and training partner Mo Farah of Great Britain.
Rupp moved into silver medal position and held on behind Farah. At that moment, Rupp answered the call for a star and made a statement by returning American distance running to the Olympic podium.
A full calendar year has past since Rupp’s performance in London. He will make a return to the international stage when the 14th edition of the IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships start Saturday in Moscow, Russia. Along with the 10,000m final Saturday, Rupp will also compete in the 5,000m.
It is his fourth time as a member of Team USA for the World Outdoor Championships. His best finish occurred in 2011 when he finished in seventh in the 10,000m. At 21 years old in Osaka, Japan for the 2007 World Outdoor Championships, he placed 11th in the 10,000m.
To grab his silver medal in London, Rupp bested the top runners in the world and some of the bigger names in the history of track and field. He will face similar competition in Moscow. It is his next chance to shine in a brilliant career.
It is a career that also includes setting the American record in the 10,000m in 2011 and winning the inaugural Bowerman Award as the nation’s top male collegiate athlete his senior season at the University of Oregon.
To follow the World Outdoor Championships including full results and recaps visit www.usatf.org