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July 3, 2024

Olympian Brynn King Receives Hero's Welcome Upon Return To Campus

Brynn smiles in car

Olympic pole vaulter Brynn King returned to a hero's welcome at Roberts Wesleyan University on Wednesday morning.

King, a rising senior at Roberts, earned a spot on Team USA after finishing third at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Sunday in Eugene, Ore.

King arrived on campus just after 10 a.m. perched atop the back seat of a black convertible and waved to an adoring crowd as she rode through the lower circle in front of the Voller Athletic Center.

Roberts' staff members hold signs and cheer.

The Corvette drove past the supporters once before looping around and stopping. King was greeted by Roberts President Dr. Rupert A. Hayles, Jr., who presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

Brynn smiles with President Hayles and his wife, Maryann Hayles
"We are beyond elated to witness this," Hayles said. "Being here and seeing the people come out to welcome her touches your heart. Just to see this crowd out here is beautiful."

King posed for photos and signed autographs for several minutes after the parade.

"It was so nice to see all of the support," she said. "I was not expecting this, but to come back and have everyone here waiting for me was awesome."

King, a native of The Woodlands, Texas, cleared a personal-best 4.73 meters (15-feet, 6 1/4-inches) to earn her spot on the Olympic team. She is the first Roberts student to qualify for the Olympics. Roberts pole vault coordinator Jenn Suhr, who coaches King, did it three times after graduating in 2004. Suhr won a gold medal at the 2012 London Games and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Brynn smiles with coach Jenn Suhr and others

The past 72 hours have been a whirlwind for King, who won the NCAA Division II indoor and outdoor pole vault championships this season. Her vaults have improved by 19 inches since transferring to Roberts from Duke University last summer.

"It has been insane," King said. "I couldn't have imagined being in this position, but I am loving every minute of it."

The Paris Games begin on July 26 with the women's pole vault competition scheduled for Aug. 5 and 7. King plans to resume training in the Rochester area before leaving to march in the Opening Ceremonies.

"I asked her 'how has this been?' and she said 'crazy,'" Hayles said. "My response was, 'wait until you get back from Paris, then you are going to see crazy.'"

When asked how the words, "Brynn King, U.S. Olympian," sounded, King paused and smiled.

"It has a nice ring to it," she said.

Brynn smiles in car

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