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‘We did it’: Crouser’s gold a tribute to his fallen grandpa

Ryan Crouser, of United States, celebrates after winning the final of the men's shot put at the...
Ryan Crouser, of United States, celebrates after winning the final of the men's shot put at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo.(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:10 AM EDT
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TOKYO (AP) — Ryan Crouser broke his own Olympic record on his way to defending his shot put title. It was a tribute to his late grandfather.

The American world record-holder even wrote a note days before the competition in the Tokyo Games that predicted the gold medal.

Larry Crouser, his grandfather, died shortly before Ryan left for Tokyo.

It was years ago in Larry Crouser’s backyard that Ryan attempted his first toss with the heavy metal ball that would shape his life.

In the heat at Olympic Stadium, Crouser took the lead on his first attempt and saved his best for his final one.

On his last attempt, Crouser went 23.30 meters to earn the first track and field gold for the American men at the Tokyo Games.

U.S. teammate Joe Kovacs finished second and Tomas Walsh of New Zealand was third.

That was the exact same podium as five years ago at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The 28-year-old Crouser went 22.52 meters when he won at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Crouser is already the world-record holder after breaking a 31-year-old mark on June 18 at the U.S. Olympic trials. His throw that evening went 23.37 meters.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.