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Aretha Thurmond: 2008 U.S. Discus Champ

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Aretha Thurmond: 2008 U.S. Discus Champ

Aretha Thurmond

Jonathon Ferrey/Getty Images
Discus-thrower Aretha Thurmond won the 2008 Olympic Trials, then was a solid qualifier in Beijing (61.90 meters/203 feet, 1.01 inches) before placing tenth in the final.

Winning by losing:

Thurmond began her track and field career following a lost bet. She wanted to play softball in high school, but her phys ed teacher wanted her to go out for track. They made a bet that if he could beat her in one-on-one basketball, she would give up softball. He won the bet, and she went on to win three Washington state discus titles.

Twice as nice:

Thurmond won her second consecutive U.S. Olympic Trials discus competition in 2008 with a best throw of 65.20 meters (213 feet, 10.93 inches). Her winning attempt in 2004 traveled 63.55 meters (208-5.97). Thurmond also qualified for the Olympic team by placing third in 1996. She was fourth at the 2000 Trials.

Career highlights:

Prior to the 2008 Olympic Trials, Thurmond won three U.S. Outdoor championships. She also earned gold medals at the 1999 and 2003 Pan Am Games.

The stats:

  • Height: 5-10
  • Weight: 235
  • Age: 32
  • Birth date: August 14, 1976
  • Hometown: Renton, Washington
  • World Championships: None

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