EUGENE, Ore. – It was a dream come true for American shot putter Michelle Carter at the 2016 Rio Olympics last summer.
On her sixth and final throw of the competition, she let loose with a personal best of 67 feet, 8 ¼ inches (20.63m) to clinch the gold medal, narrowly edging Valerie Adams, the two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist from New Zealand.
With that single momentous heave, Carter became the first U.S. woman in Olympic history to win a gold medal in the shot put. Her mark also stands as the American record and it catapulted her to the world’s No. 1 ranking in the shot put for 2016.
Thus, when Carter indicated an interest in competing in the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series, the Philadelphia Force jumped into action, quickly adding her to the team roster.
“If you weren’t already picking the (Philadelphia) Force for the win this year, then the addition of the world’s No. 1 shot putter should end that debate,” said Philadelphia General Manager Sanya Richards-Ross said. “We’re building a powerhouse team and we can’t wait to showcase our talents in the TrackTown Summer Series.”
As for Carter, she’s ecstatic to add the TrackTown Summer Series to her competitive schedule.
“I absolutely love the concept of team competition right here in the U.S.,” Carter said. “We have the best track and field athletes in the world, and our fans deserve as many chances as possible to see us perform. This is the beginning of something truly special, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
It has been a steady rise in the shot put for Carter.
She set the national high school record in 2003, won gold at the 2004 IAAF World Junior Championships, and claimed the first of seven U.S. titles in 2008, the same year she made her first Olympic team. Carter went on to add bronze medals at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships and 2015 IAAF World Championships.
“We have the best track & field athletes in the world, and our fans deserve as many chances as possible to see us perform.”
– Michelle Carter
Last year’s historic season began with a gold medal at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, a come-from-behind victory which also came on her final throw before a sold-out crowd at the Oregon Convention Center.
Carter’s talent in the shot put is easy to trace. Her father, Michael, is the only athlete to ever win an Olympic medal and Super Bowl ring in the same year. He won silver in the shot put at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and later earned the first of three Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers.
The 2017 TrackTown Summer Series is committed to providing top American track and field athletes with opportunities to compete in the U.S. during the summer months. The dates for this year’s meets are as follows:
San Francisco: June 29
Portland: July 2
New York: July 6
The championship meet at Icahn Stadium in New York City will be broadcast on ESPN from 9-11 p.m. (Eastern). The two West Coast meets will be live streamed on Facebook Live. Tickets are now on sale for all three meets.
About TrackTown Summer Series:
The TrackTown Summer Series is a U.S. circuit of professional track and field meets which features scored competition between four teams representing the cities of New York, Portland, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Team rosters are split evenly between men and women. The TrackTown Summer Series is designed to provide top American track and field athletes with innovative competitive opportunities on U.S. soil. For more information: tracktownsummerseries.com