TOLEDO, Ohio — After years of uncertainty, it appears Toledo native Erik Kynard will win the Olympic gold medal for the high jump.
Kynard finished 2nd at the 2012 Olympic games in London and brought the silver medal home to northwest Ohio, but after a doping scandal involving Ivan Ukhov, Kynard is now eligible to be awarded the gold.
Ukhov was one of 12 Russian athletes to receive doping bans by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) back in 2019. On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration ruled to partially uphold that ruling, thus making Kynard eligible for the medal upgrade. The International Olympic Committee would still have to make the change.
"My focus is on the trials in June and the games in Tokyo," said Kynard. "London was a long time ago. I was 21. I'm 30 years old now. As far as the celebration associated with that accomplishment, that time has passed. The things that I've worked to achieve, the person, the athlete that I've worked to be, the level of greatness was accomplished a long time ago. It's a relief that there is no pressure in any pursuit that I have currently because I only am continuing to work to be who I already am."
Kynard, a Rogers High School graduate, is currently in Chula Vista, California training for the summer games in Tokyo later this year.
After the Olympics were pushed back in 2020, there has still been some uncertainty about holding them in 2021.
Kynard still hasn’t been told officially that the games will happen, but he’s hard at work preparing like normal.
"History has proven that things change," said Kynard. "We were expecting Tokyo to take place a year ago and it has not taken place still. As far as expectations and plans, derailment happens. Delays, not denial in a sense. For me, preparation is going to continue, but I'm not really focused on counting the days so much as I am making the days count."
As of now, the games are scheduled to begin in late-July in Tokyo.