USA Olympic Hurdler Sydney McLaughlin

Posted August 1st, 2016 at 4:17 pm (UTC-4)
6 comments

Sydney McLaughlin (left) sets a world junior record of 54.15 seconds in the women's 400m hurdles during the 2016 USA Olympic Track & Field Trials. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sydney McLaughlin (left) sets a world junior record of 54.15 seconds in the women’s 400m hurdles during the 2016 USA Olympic Track & Field Trials. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hurdler Sydney McLaughlin, who celebrates her 17th birthday on August 7th, is going to Rio de Janeiro as the youngest American track and field athlete to compete in the Olympics since 1976.

The teenager is scheduled to graduate next year from Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, where she started a juggling club.

McLaughlin can twirl balls and bowling pins while riding a unicycle, and she says it would be amazing if juggling is one day made an Olympic sport.

For now, though, McLaughlin is focused on making her Olympic debut in the hurdles.

She qualified for the Rio Games by finishing third in the women’s 400-meters hurdles at last month’s USA Olympic Track & Field Trials, in a personal best and world junior record 54.15 seconds.

Sydney McLaughlin is a member of a very athletic family.

Olympic hurdler Sydney McLaughlin Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Olympic hurdler Sydney McLaughlin
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Her father, Willie, competed in the 400 meters in the 1984 USA Olympic Track & Field Trials.

He reached the semifinal round, but didn’t qualify for the Olympics that year in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, her mother, Mary, was a runner in high school, and her older brother, Taylor, is a hurdler at the University of Michigan.

Sydney McLaughlin describes competing at last month’s Olympic Trials in Oregon as the single most stressful thing she’s ever done in her life.

Now she’s going to Brazil, where the pressure promises to be even more intense.

The heats in the women’s 400-meter hurdles begin on August 15th in Rio, and the final is August 18th.

Even if she doesn’t win a medal at the Olympics, the young hurdler looks ready to wave the American flag high at future international competitions.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

6 responses to “USA Olympic Hurdler Sydney McLaughlin”

  1. Segun Adeyemi says:

    Kudos to Sydney, who obviously is pushing forth a family tradition. Sonny, you were right on the money when you wrote: ”Even if she doesn’t win a medal at the Olympics, the young hurdler looks ready to wave the American flag high at future international competitions.” Best of luck to Sydney in Rio

  2. george abraham says:

    very good to hear .Hope all sportsmen and women shine in rio olympic with more gold medals

  3. george abraham says:

    i pray that usa will win more gold medals in all fields all the best for america

  4. Sydney’s story is an inspiring one. But more interesting is her sporty family background. I think her background will influence and inspire her for years to come.

  5. Pius says:

    Hi sonny ,u are doing a great job, i have hope that i will see you face to face one day, u will host me in voa sport studio, i enjoy just concluded Rio 2o16 Olympic ,i watch every football men /women, am happy ,in men football ,dream team of Nigeria came third ,thank to Samson siasia and john obi Michel . Am the sport listener of the day, pls kindly send voa sport programe to my e mail , my name is pius olukotun ilorin kwara state Nigeria .

  6. Victor Noah says:

    Nice one there Sydney mcLaughlin, seems everyone in that family are all athletes, and it runs in your blood too. Am also happy to the fact that my country Nigeria also did pretty well in soccer. Thanks for sharing.

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