LONDON – On August 6, Jenn Suhr, a 2004 graduate of Council for Christian Colleges & Universities member Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y., won the gold medal in women’s pole vault at the Olympic Games. She bested bronze-medalist, Russian Elena Isinbaeva, the two-time Olympic champion in women’s pole vault and 28-time world record breaker who was a favorite for a three-peat gold, and Cuba's Yarisley Silva, who was awarded silver.
During her years at Roberts Wesleyan, Suhr, now 30, was a standout basketball player. She did not take up pole vaulting until 2004, after graduation, when pole vault coach Rick Suhr, who is now her husband, talked her into trying pole vault after noticing her playing pick-up basketball with men and rebounding over them.
Suhr quickly climbed the world’s pole vault ranks, earning a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics behind Isinbaeva. This year, though, Suhr came out on top, vaulting 15 feet, 7 inches (4.75 meters) to defeat Cuba’s Silva. Both athletes cleared the same height, but Silva had one more miss than Suhr in competition and, thus, lost the tiebreaker. Isinbayeva’s vault of 15 feet, 5 inches (4.70 meters) gave her the bronze.
Suhr resides and trains in Riga, N.Y., with Rick, her husband and coach. Her gold medal was the first U.S. women’s pole vault gold since 2000.
The day of Suhr’s event, 255 college employees, students, alumni, and community members attended Roberts Wesleyan’s “Suhr Sundae” viewing party, watching Suhr compete for the gold on a big screen as her event was streamed live online. The sundaes were served with golden toppings such as butterscotch, caramel, and yellow M&M’s candies, in anticipation of Suhr’s golden results.
About the CCCU: The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 170 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world. The 116 member campuses in North America are all fully-accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 54 affiliate campuses from 18 countries are part of the CCCU. The Council’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit www.cccu.org.