TOKYO — U.S. long jumper Brittney Reese has been racking up individual championship titles for more than a decade.
Three Olympic medals, including a new silver one on Tuesday. Eight world championship medals.
Is she the best long jumper of all time? “I am,” she said. “Point blank.”
Reese, 34, doesn’t hold the world record, but she’s established herself as an extraordinary athlete over an astonishing number of years.
Now, as she ends her fourth and final Olympics, she thinks it’s high time she gets the recognition she deserves.
“You know, if I was on the track side of the sport…I’d be the Usain Bolt of long jump. But just being on the field events side, you know, it just doesn’t get the attention that it deserves,” Reese said.
“But I was not placed here for that. I was not placed here for the attention, I was placed here to inspire,” she added.
As for ending her four trips to the Olympics with a silver? “I really can’t complain. It was a great competition and it was won by inches.”
Reese jumped 6.97 meters, or 22.86 feet. The gold medalist, Germany’s Malaika Mihambo, jumped 1.18 inches farther.
But Reese says she’s not tempted to come back for another shot at gold. “Everyone knows I have a son, and I think it feels like it’s time for me to step away and spend more time with him.”
She says she’ll be cheering for the young competitors making their mark on the event, like U.S. long jumper Tara Davis, who placed 6th today in her Olympic debut.