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Meet The 18-Year-Old Making Olympics History

Vashti-Cunningam-Olympics-JET Feature

Landing a spot on the Rio Olympic team, eighteen-year-old Vashti Cunningham became the youngest U.S. Track & Field Olympian since 1980. Thirty six years ago, Allyson Felix, who was also 18 at the 2004 Athens Games, held that coveted title.

Vashi, the daughter of retired NFL all-pro quarterback Randall Cunningham, finished second in her competition to round out the Olympic team. The rising star shared her enthusiasm about joining the team and didn’t let her second place spot deter her. 

“To be able to go to the Olympics, I’m more happy than disappointed about finishing second,” she told NBC Sports. “I always want to win, but this is something that will hit me on the head and make me work harder. I’ve got more motivation for Rio.”

According to NBC Sports, on March 20, Cunningham won the world indoor title in nearby Portland, clearing 1.96 meters to beat a field largely lacking top Olympic medal contenders. She turned professional and signed with Nike a day later.

Can’t wait to see what the young star athlete has in store!

photo credit: NBC Sports

  • J.B.

    I'm so happy for her! I wish her much success in Rio and in her Track and Field career.