In May, Vashti Cunningham displayed her skills and showed why she’s the best women’s high jumper when she leaped a personal best of 6 feet, 7½ inches and envisioned jumping a new personal record ahead of the Olympics.
Heading into the U.S. Olympic track and field trials on Sunday — where she was coached by her father, former NFL star quarterback Randall Cunningham — the 23-year-old didn’t eclipse her personal best but won a gold medal in the women’s high jump at 6-5 to qualify for her second Olympics.
“This meet right here meant a lot to me. I really, really wanted the title in 2016, but I was young and just trying to navigate my way,” Cunningham explained, per Yahoo Sports. “So, it really means a lot to me to come here today and get that title.”
Moments after the event, she opened up about winning in front of her coach and father on Father’s Day.
“The feeling is just amazing. I was looking at pictures of us over the years. I sent them to him, and I was like ‘Happy Father’s Day.’ I know that making him happy makes me feel so good. I was blessed to have my family here and my dad,” Cunningham said. “I’m happy it was on Father’s Day.”
Cunningham will try to capture her first Olympic medal in about a month as she placed 13th at the 2016 Olympics. She said she’s confident things will be much different this time around.
“I do plan on peaking at the Olympics. I’m just waiting on God’s timing,” Cunningham said.