The YouTube Olympic Champion, Javelin’s Keshorn Walcott | Olympics on the Record

The YouTube Olympic Champion, Javelin’s Keshorn Walcott | Olympics on the Record

Some athletes turn
up at the Olympic Games with everyone expecting
them to win. But for every “must-win”
there are dozens of “also-rans” making up the field. Every now and then,
the stars align and one of those “also-rans” turns the world upside down
and wins Olympic Gold. Well, this is the story of a humble young man’s
attempt to win one of those miraculous medals. He came from the village
of Toco, in the north-eastern corner
of the island of Trinidad, where football, cricket and sprinting
are the dominant sports. Keshorn Walcott –
Keshie, to his friends – was 19 years old in 2012. He was the
World Junior Javelin Champion, having taken up the sport
just three years earlier. As a boy,
his first coach was YouTube. Jan, what are you doing? I’m training, on YouTube. It’s exhausting. He studied videos
of his role model, two-time Olympic champion
Andreas Thorkildsen, of Norway. Thorkildsen had won gold
with a throw of 90.57 metres in Beijing four years earlier,
an Olympic record. And won in Athens in 2004. In javelin, athletes
have three attempts to throw a metal-tipped spear, weighing
800g, as far as they can. That’s the weight of a
wellington boot and a chicken. On to the London Games, Walcott’s first senior
competition, which saw him come up against the smooth, relaxed technique
of his hero. Walcott and his coach went into
the Games primarily to gain experience and enjoy it. Into the qualifying round, where the 19-year-old
and 43 other competitors tried to achieve
the magic distance of 82 metres that meant automatic
progress to the final. Only seven men managed it,
including Thorkildsen, who went through
just one place behind leader Vitezslav Vesely
of the Czech Republic. That left five places in
the final still up for grabs. Walcott just qualified with a throw of 81.75 metres,
in tenth place. He had made it. Into the final. His first throw was a personal
best and a national record. Walcott’s second throw
was 84.58 metres. Thorkildsen,
with the experience of two Olympic
titles to his name, couldn’t even get over
the 83 metres mark and placed only sixth. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pyatnytsya could thwart
Walcott’s dream debut. But he threw
seven centimetres shorter than the young Trinidadian. Could Antti Ruuskanen,
of Finland, topple him? Nope. Third and a bronze for Finland. No-one, not even Walcott,
could believe the gold was his. I was even surprised
I made the final. It was… I just went out there relaxed because I wasn’t really
looking for much. I just went out there to enjoy and eventually
we’ll enjoy a lot more. It was the first time
a non-European had won this event since 1952, when American Cy Young
topped the pile. Walcott set a national record as he became
the youngest javelin winner in the history of the Games. His Olympic medal was
Trinidad & Tobago’s first in a field event and he became only the second
winner of Olympic gold in his country’s history, following Hasley Crawford’s
victory in the men’s 100 metres at the 1976 Olympics
in Montreal. I know they’re celebrating
more than me right now. He wasn’t wrong. It sent Trinidad into a frenzy. People went crazy,
people went wild. So wild, in fact, that they gave Walcott a luxury
home worth $2.5 million, more than $150 USD in cash, around 20,000 square feet
of land, stuck his name on the side
of a Caribbean Airlines plane, and even named
a lighthouse after him. Oh, and when he arrived
back home, the Prime Minister came to meet
him at the airport with thousands of supporters
to give him a hero’s welcome. They declared
a bank holiday in his honour.

53 Replies to “The YouTube Olympic Champion, Javelin’s Keshorn Walcott | Olympics on the Record”


  2. I don't understand how people can dislike certain videos. This video is all positive. Are the 8 who already disliked this video people who just don't like Trinidadians? lol… or maybe fans of the winner in 2004/2008?

  3. Watch out for Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra who threw 87.43m this year for 2020 Olympics .

  4. молодчик,красава!вот как YouTube может повлиять оказывается

  5. So were gonna miss the fact that every Olympic Champion Winner bites the medal to check if its chocolate

  6. Their government is very nice do thing the winner and motivate him and others to do better.while in Kenya they are eating money for sport men and women.

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