On his journey to Tokyo, Shelby McEwen leapt from his native Mississippi to the University of Alabama to train in Louisville and, after the pandemic shut down his training facility, back home.
McEwen, an Abbeville, Miss., native, was bummed about the Olympics’ plan to skip opening ceremonies, but kept his eye on the main thing, telling Mississippi’s WLBT-TV: “I hate that I have to experience my first Olympics like that. But the best thing is that I’m in the Olympics. So, at least I can say I’m an Olympian. So, I can say that.”
In early August, McEwen competed in the men’s high jump finals, placing 12th by clearing 2.27 meters.
“It’s all about having fun. Just an honor to be here, be in my first Olympics and make the finals. Feeling good, it’s motivation from here and can always get better from here. Just a blessing to be here and in my first Olympic finals,” McEwen said told WMC-TV in Memphis.