Pole Vaulter who Stopped for National Anthem has Local Ties
Olympic Pole Vaulter Sam Kendricks is remembered more from the 2016 Summer Olympics for what he didn't do, rather than his actually jumping.
During the qualifying round in Rio de Janeiro, Kendricks was getting ready to do a pole vault. He grabbed his pole and was running toward the bar when suddenly he stopped, dropped his pole, and stood at attention while the United States National Anthem played.
Here is that story from ABC News...
Kendricks was also a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He went on to win a bronze medal in 2016. In winning the bronze, he become the first American to medal in the event in 12 years.
Here is another video of Kendricks stopping for the National Anthem...
He will be back, competing for the Gold for Team USA, at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which begin on Friday, July 23rd.
Kendricks has local ties to West Michigan. His mother, Chris Wheeler, is a 1984 graduate of Thornapple Kellogg High School in Middleville. After graduation, she became a U.S. Marine.
She ended up marrying a fellow Marine and they started a family. On Labor Day, September 7th, 1992, she gave birth to twin boys...Sam and Tom. Both parents were active duty Marine Corps at the time.
The following year, the family moved to Oxford, Mississippi. The boys grew up there and then went on to the University of Mississippi. They both have degrees in Engineering. Sam went on to be an Olympic athlete and a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Reserves.
Good luck to Sam and Team USA in Tokyo. I will be following him to see just how he does. Go for the Gold!!