One of the most versatile athletes this side of the pentathlon, Chaunte Howard Lowe has been one of the world’s top high jumpers since 2005, when she became just the second American woman to earn a World Outdoor Championship medal.
Dreams of Glory:
Lowe first thought of becoming an Olympian at age four. But her first love was running. She didn’t compete in the high jump until her freshman year at J.W. North High School in Riverside, Calif. But she told the Herald Scotland newspaper that she’d discovered her jumping ability a few years earlier, away from the track. “My mom would be out and my sister and I would put the radio on real loud. I’d jump and my head nearly touched the ceiling.”
Lowe was a National Scholastic high jump champion in high school, but also earned All-American status in the triple jump plus a variety of relays, and ran in hurdles events. She earned three NCAA high jump championships at Georgia Tech, but also competed in the triple and long jumps, the 200, the 100 hurdles and several relays. She began focusing on the high jump as a sophomore in 2004 and increased her personal best from 1.89 meters (6 feet, 2¼ inches) to 1.98/6-6.
After placing second in the Olympic Trials, Lowe made her Olympic debut at age 20 in 2004. She didn’t reach the final, but made her mark internationally in 2005 by earning a silver medal at the World Championships. After taking a maternity year off in 2007, she placed sixth in the Beijing Olympics and seventh at the 2009 World Championships. Lowe gained a bronze medal at the 2010 World Indoor Championships.
Entering 2010 with a personal best of 2.01/6-7, Lowe broke the U.S. record by leaping 2.04/6-8¼ at Cottbus, Germany on May 30 (on her 15th jump of the competition) then advanced to 2.05/6-8¾ at the U.S. Championships one month later, winning her fourth national outdoor title. She also placed second in the U.S. in the long jump and entertains thoughts of trying the long jump-high jump double at the 2011 World Championships.
- Height: 5-9
- Weight: 131
- Birth date: Jan. 12, 1984
- Hometown: Riverside, Calif.
- Personal best: High jump: 2.05 meters (6 feet, 8¾ inches); Long jump: 6.90/22-7¾.