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Olympic gold medalist Michelle Carter crowned USATF Athlete of the Week


INDIANAPOLIS -- U.S. Olympic Team captain, Michelle Carter, is the first USATF Athlete of the Week of the Olympic Games, earning the honor after her gold medal performance in the women’s shot put.

Carter (Ovilla, Texas) won the first U.S. Olympic gold medal in the women’s shot put, and the first American medal since Earlene Brown took the bronze in 1960. This is her second USATF Athlete of the Week nod of 2016.

“I've been to three Olympics, so I hope I've learned something along the way” Carter said. “I was trying to pull from my experiences and just give it my all on my last throw. I'm just grateful that I had this moment. This only comes around once every four years or once in a lifetime."

The three-time Olympian saved her best toss for last and surpassed her own American record of 20.21m/66-3.75, set earlier this year in March at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, also on her last throw. She shattered the U.S. Olympic Trials record of 19.59m/64-3.25 in July to win her second Trials title.

Other notable performances:

In an intense long jump final, Jeffery Henderson (North Little Rock, Arkansas) won gold on his last jump of the day, securing the first gold medal for Team USA since Dwight Phillips in 2004. Henderson’s victory marks the 22nd gold medal in the men’s long jump for Team USA in Olympic history.


Keturah Orji (Mount Olive, New Jersey) earned an American record on her first attempt in the women’s triple jump final, leaping 14.71m/48-3.25 to surpass her previous best by 18 cm. Orji is the only U.S. woman to take all six jumps in the Olympic Games and finished just outside medal contention in fourth. Orji is the first U.S woman to qualify for the triple jump final since Sheila Hudson in the ’96 Games.


Molly Huddle (Elmira, New York) set an American record in the 10,000m, finishing sixth overall in 30:13.17. In a race that saw the world record shattered, Huddle paced herself 15 seconds under the American record for much of the race.


LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia) won bronze in the men’s 400m, participating in the fastest 400m final in Olympic history. Merritt was neck-and-neck with Kirani James of Grenada, who took and held the lead for second place and Merritt capture the fastest time for bronze medal in 43.85. The 400m world record was broken as well, courtesy of Wayde Van Niekerk’s 43.03 to win gold.


Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) captured her first Olympic medal in her first of two events in Rio, the women’s 100m. Bowie utilized a late surge in the final 20m to pass the two-time defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica at the finish line. Bowie won silver in 10.83, and will compete in the finals of the women’s 200m on Wednesday evening.


Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Keni Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier; June 23, Sydney McLaughlin; June 30, Tia Jones; July 7, Allyson Felix; July 15, Bernard Lagat; July 22, Allen Woodard; July 29, Keni Harrison; August 5, Chantae McMillan; August 11, Myrle Mensey; August 20, Michelle Carter.

We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to

Maya Allen

Communications Intern

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