Gluten-Free Pole Vaulter Wins Gold
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U.S. Olympic Champion Jenn Suhr launched into the spotlight as she clinched the gold medal in the women’s pole vault finals. This huge victory for Suhr and the U.S. comes after she took silver at the 2008 Olympics, where she battled an Achilles’ injury and undiagnosed celiac disease.
On Monday night, Suhr edged out competitors Elena Isinbaeva of Russia and Yarisley Silva of Cuba for the win. She missed her first attempt to clear the bar at 15 feet, 7 inches, but sailed over on her second attempt, as did Silva. Isinbaeva failed to clear the bar at 15 feet, 9 inches, sealing Suhr in as gold medal champion.
After winning silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Suhr began suffering fatigue and weakness that affected her performance. She was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2011, went on a gluten-free diet and has been getting her health back on track.
In an August 2011 interview with BuffaloNews.com, Suhr offered a positive outlook:
“‘I’m confident now. There’s always setbacks to it. You’ll eat something without knowing there’s gluten in it. But it’s controllable now. Things are looking promising again.’ “
One year later, her gold medal finish proves that diagnosis makes a difference.
Visit the Boston Globe for the full story on Suhr’s victory.