Alaska’s Janay DeLoach is flying so high, she hasn’t reached her ceiling.
The 26-year-old long jumper will shoot for the stars on the world’s biggest stage at this summer’s London Olympics, thanks to her third-place finish in today’s Olympics Trials in Eugene, Ore.
DeLoach, of Eielson High fame, jumped 23 feet, 2 ¾ inches on her fifth and final jump. And yes, she needed every bit of that distance to make her dream a reality.
She isn’t satisfied with just going to the Olympics, though.
“I want more,” she told The Denver Post. “My goal is to win a gold medal. I’m blessed. I’m so blessed to have made the team. But I have bigger goals.”
DeLoach represented the U.S. at last year’s world championships and was ranked No. 2 in the world this year, making her a legitimate medal contender.
Who knows, crazier things have happened – like a long jumper from Alaska making the Olympic team.
“Until last year when I won the indoor national championships, I was a nobody,” DeLoach said. “No one had a clue who Janay DeLoach was. I came out and I won, and they were like, ‘Who’s this girl? Can she do it again?’
“It was my goal to be like, ‘I’m here. I have to be here for a reason. It wasn’t a fluke. I pinch myself every day. This time last year, I didn’t know I could do this. I hoped, but I didn’t know it. Now I know. There is a big difference between hoping and knowing.
“My whole perspective has changed. I know I can do this.”