ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Johnsonburg High School grad (2012) and Penn State alum (2016), Michael Shuey, has officially qualified for the Summer Olympics and will be joining Team USA in Tokyo.
After finishing second in the javelin event at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Shuey’s trip to the Olympics was not set in stone. Shuey failed to hit the 85-meter minimum in order to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team during trials, leading him and his family to a week-long waiting period for the World Rankings to be completed.
“They wanted to know for sure, even though I was kind of like ‘guys it’s happening.'” Shuey said. It’s exciting that everyone is realizing it all at the same time. It’s like getting congratulated all over again after competing at the trials.”
Olympic Trials ended June 30, and Shuey landed 23rd in the World Rankings granting him one of he available U.S. spots. Also heading to Tokyo with Shuey is Curtis Thompson who won the gold medal in javelin at the trials.
The last time the United States had an Olympian land on the podium for javelin was in 1972 when Bill Schmidt won bronze in Munich. Prior to Munich, only four other throwers from the U.S. medaled in the event.
“The goal is to make it through qualifying, make it to the finals. And once you’re in the finals, anything can happen,” Shuey said.
Opening ceremonies for the Olympics begin Friday, July 23 at 7 a.m. EDT.