Michelle Carter Launches Gold
August 13, 2016
For years we’ve known that Michelle Carter inherited and refined a talent to put the shot into distant zones entered only by the elite. In fact, her future father, Michael Carter, as a prep in 1979, unleashed a rocket still unchallenged – 81-3 ½ with a 12-pound shot – and difficult to fathom, even by those who stood nearby, as did I in my capacity as a newspaper correspondent.
Last night, on TV, I was watching the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and thought, “Michelle is the best American putter but just not quite powerful enough to beat her nemesis,” two-time defending gold medalist Valerie Adams of New Zealand, who, going into the final round, led with a put of 67 feet, almost twenty-one inches ahead of Michelle.
As her father did two generations ago, Michelle gathered herself for a final Herculean effort, and launched the 8.8-pound women’s shot higher and further than she ever had, a magnificent 67-8 ¼. Valerie Adams, six-foot-four and muscular and technically proficient, still had her final put. She concentrated and crouched and exploded across the rink, and her shot rose and flew far and crossed the elite line but landed short of the leading mark.
Michelle Carter celebrated not merely her gold medal but also assumption of family supremacy since Michael merely won a silver medal, with a 16-pound shot, in the 1984 Olympics. He also starred on three Super Bowl champions with the San Francisco 49ers. When size, strength, and skill are needed, Michael and Michelle Carter should at once be summoned.