EUGENE OR - JULY 03: Kara Patterson of USA throws the javelin during the IAAF Diamond League Prefontaine Classic on July 3 2010 at Hayward Field in Eugene Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Today was finally Kara Patterson's day at the Olympics with the women's javelin prelims getting underway. Had she been able to replicate her American record throw of 66.67 meters she would be leading the competition at the moment. Unfortunately, Kara finished a disappointing 31st with a top throw of 56.23 meters. She did so in the most Purdue fashion possible:
She was throwing with, you guessed it, a torn ACL:
Patterson injured her right knee on her final attempt at June's U.S. trials. Her throw of 184 feet, 5 inches today on her first attempt was far from the necessary distance to become one of 12 finalists. She placed 31st.
She said if the United States had another javelin thrower meeting the necessary "A" standard, she would have withdrawn from the team.
"Since we didn't have anyone else, I could not come here and try," Patterson said tearfully. "It's the Olympics, it happens once every four years."
As you can see, this is totally hardcore. She did reveal that she is going to try and return in 2016 when the games are in Rio, hopefully with two fully-functioning ACLs. As she stated in the earlier interview at the site, she is entering the prime time of her career for throwers, and will only be 30 by the time Rio comes around. Current leader Barbora Špotáková of the Czech Republic is 31 and holds the world record in the event.
Thank you so much for all your support! I threw 56m or so on a completely torn left ACL. Proud of my effort and looking forward to surgery.
Let's still applaud Kara for coming through and competing under some pretty brutal circumstances. Congratulate her on Twitter at @karathrowsjav. So her gold will be Brazilian instead of English. Big deal.