By Steve Woodward
The champion and silver medalist competitors in hammer throw on June 26 at the U.S. Olympic Trials were “Kaeperniked” during what should have been a shining moment in their careers.
In this era where we find the dishonorable bowed to by organizations that once would have made them outcasts, Gwen Berry has emerged as a poster child. She finished third at the Trials but a hammer is not all she threw. She threw a hissy fit to express the faux outrage that coarses through her when she is subjected to the National Anthem.
“I didn’t want to be up there,” said Berry, who nonetheless still expects and intends to travel with the U.S. Olympic team to the Games in Tokyo.
What has yet to be mentioned by the mass media is that Berry is a long shot to be on the podium wearing an Olympic medal, thus another snub of her country will not be in the cards. She was 14th at the 2016 Rio Games. She currently is world ranked sixth, but trails the fifth-ranked thrower by 10 points, and the No. 1 thrower, American teammate DeAnna Price, by 90 points. Price was first at the Trials and stood emotionally facing the flag as the anthem played. Like a normal Olympian.
It is said that the only less appealing set of events than those known as “track” among U.S. sports fans is “field”.
But to make “field” a ratings booster for NBC Sports during the Tokyo Olympic Games, I lend this free advice.
The U.S. Olympic Committee should cut a deal with Berry. She can go to Japan and represent Team USA. But Berry will be required to compete in a new field event to atone for her disgraceful behavior in Eugene, OR.
She will be the first American to compete in hammer catching.