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Huntsville’s JuVaughn Harrison jumping for gold at Tokyo Olympics

It is an athletic career that began with big wins here in North Alabama, continued at LSU and now on Team USA.

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 5:14 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2021 1:17 PM

The odds of making it to the Olympics in even one event are astronomical.

But Huntsville’s JuVaughn Harrison is representing the USA in two events in Tokyo: the Long Jump and the High Jump.

It is an athletic career that began with big wins in North Alabama, continued at LSU and now on Team USA.

“I don’t even have words,” Harrison’s former coach at Columbia Ryan Shea told WAAY 31.

Shea has watched a lot of talent come through his program over the years. But none quite like Harrison.

“It’s mind blowing. He’s the best track field athlete ever that came out of North Alabama,” Shea says.

From 2013 to 2016 Harrison made a name for himself in a sport where the difference between winning and losing is measured by the millimeter.

Harrison’s Olympic spotlight is the latest in a winning rise that began when he was just a kid.

“He was born into the sport, his mother was in hurdling, his father was a great runner. Also he had a DNA for it. He started at an early age, but he played multiple sports like soccer and basketball and football.”

But it was the Long and High jumps that launched Harrison into state record books, NCAA history books, and onto the world stage.

“It’s unheard of what he has done,” Shea added.

No matter what happens in Tokyo, Harrison is already a winner. His high school coach expects Harrison will keep the winning streak alive.

“I expect him to either medal or win the gold in both events and he could possibly, if the Lord keeps blessing him, the world record holder in both events.”

The stakes are high, but this coach knows if anyone can deliver it will be Harrison.

“He is skyrocketing, keep on flying higher," Shea said.

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