Let’s all admit it together — we might not have paid the closest attention to every sport going on at the Tokyo Olympics. But in our defense, there were just so many to keep track of! Skateboarding was added this year, along with surfing, climbing and karate. In total, there were 339 medal events, which is kind of a lot.
Between the time that the official Olympic flame was lit and the closing ceremony began, there was one particularly noteworthy performance by a current member of Cal track and field.
In case you missed it, let me break some important news.
The blue and gold’s very own Camryn Rogers placed fifth in the women’s hammer throw — two places away from earning a medal for her home country of Canada.
As the youngest thrower competing in the hammer throw final, Rogers was at a slight disadvantage in terms of experience. Early in the competition, she was at the top of the leaderboard but was later surpassed by Anita Włodarczyk from Poland, who won the gold medal with a mark of 78.48 meters.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, former Bear Alysia Johnson Montaño placed fifth in the women’s hammer throw. Rogers is now tied with her for the best Olympic placing by a Cal female track and field athlete, and it’s quite conceivable that Rogers will have the opportunity to improve on her performance at the next Olympic Games.
In Tokyo, Rogers faced off against quite literally the best throwers in the world and proved herself to be one of them. She is nothing short of a fantastic thrower whose mental game is on par with her athletic abilities. She’s focused, dedicated, well-spoken and kind.
Rogers has been doing this for years and knows how to handle the pressure. She takes results 一 good and bad 一 in stride and builds off of the intensity of competitive environments, which is one of the reasons why she was able to do so well at the Olympics.
Rogers also has a great support system made up of her mom Shari Rogers and friends from around the world. Camryn and Shari Rogers are extremely close, and their relationship is another factor that has contributed to Rogers’ success.
Rogers is also supported by the Bears’ throws coach Mohamad Saatara, who has worked with her since she started at Cal. Saatara has been with the blue and gold since 2013 and has coached eight Olympians, including Rogers.
Overall, Rogers’ performance at the Olympics was a huge accomplishment and another stepping stone in her career as an elite thrower.
Here’s to Camryn Rogers, an athlete who will go down in the history books as one of the greatest throwers to ever grace Cal with her outstanding abilities. The Bears are lucky enough to get her for at least another track and field season, and 一 given her showing in Tokyo 一 it’s likely that we’ll be seeing her compete again on the world stage for years to come.
Mia Horne covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].