Aug 2, 2021 - Sports

Former dancer Valarie Allman wins U.S. 1st Olympic track and field gold

Valarie Allman of Team USA holding up an American flag behind her

Valarie Allman of Team USA after her gold medal win. Photo: Aleksandra Szmigiel-Pool/Getty Images

Valarie Allman won Team USA's first gold track and field Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Monday, in the discus throw finals.

The big picture: Allman is the first American woman to medal in the discus throw since 2008. Her 68.98-meter throw beat German silver medalist Kristin Pudenz's throw by more than two meters.

The intrigue: Allman hasn't always been a discus-throwing athlete. In fact, she used to be a professional dancer. Allman recalled in a statement that she was looking at taking up an extra activity when she learned throwers were hosting a spaghetti dinner.

  • "They said if you come try any of the throwing events you can come to the dinner," Allman said.
  • "That won me over. Now looking back, gosh darn that was the best spaghetti dinner of my entire life. I can't believe it."
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