Coming into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Ryan Crouser may not have been the name at the top of the marquee for Team USA, but he did enter as a huge favorite in the shot put. The 6-foot-7, 315-pound former Texas Longhorn was a four-time shot put national champion in college, won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and set the shot put world record at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials earlier this summer.
All of that set the stage for the shot put finals in Tokyo, where Crouser put on one of the great shows in the history of the Olympic shot put competition. In the final, each shot putter has six throws and Crouser cruised to victory, topping the Olympic record in five of his six attempts, with his final throw of 23.30 meters narrowly falling short of his world record of 23.37.
Crouser became just the fourth man ever to win the shot put gold twice.
The victory was a sweet and important one for Crouser as his family watched his triumph from back home in the United States. The victory comes after his grandfather died shortly before the Games began in Tokyo, something Crouser acknowledged after the gold medal-winning performance.
Crouser was joined on the podium by fellow American Joe Kovacs who took the silver medal with a throw of 22.65 meters, followed by New Zealand's Tomas Walsh, who threw 22.47.