Editorial: Former resident to blog Olympic experience

The Olympic Games open Friday with 26 sports, 10,500 athletes representing nearly every country and millions of people watching from all over the world.

We're looking forward to inspirational performances every day, but one athlete in particular has already made us swell with pride: our own Amber Campbell.

America's top hammer thrower lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C., but she grew up in Tucumcari.

Campbell, 31, says Tucumcari sparked her love for athletics when she lived here from 1983 to 1995.

"There was always something to do, even if it was only kickball in front of the house," she told a Quay County Sun reporter in 2008. "There was always a game to participate in."

Her game today is the "hammer," an 8.8-pound steel ball attached to a handle by a wire. She threw it 71.80 meters, winning the U.S. Olympic trials in June in Beaverton, Ore.

She's competing in her second Olympics, having finished 21st among 50 competitors in 2008 with a throw of 67.86 meters.

Campbell's personal best toss was 72.59 meters in 2011.

She won't be among favorites for the gold medal in London. All three medalists from 2008 have qualified again, including Belarus' Aksana Miankova who took gold with a throw of 76.34 four years ago.

But Campbell's qualifying toss this summer would have earned her a gold medal in 2000 (the winning throw was 71.16) and she's sure to be a medal contender this time if she continues to improve.

Qualifying for the women's hammer throw begins at 3 a.m. (MDT) on Aug. 8, or 10 a.m. London time.

The finals start at 12:35 p.m. (MDT) on Aug. 10, or 7:35 p.m. in London.

Campbell is blogging about her experiences at:

http://ambercampbellthrows

.blogspot.com/

Good luck to our hometown hero.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Ray Sullivan and EditorDavid Stevens.

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