After decade of dreams, Kennesaw State University student heads to Olympics
KENNESAW, Georgia. – The Tokyo Olympics are only weeks away after being postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Daniel Haugh, a master’s student at Kennesaw State University, traveling to Japan is the fulfillment of a dream and a promise he made nearly ten years ago.
“I remember going to my best friend, the Tingley family. And we were watching the opening ceremonies in 2012. And I remember sitting there and saying ‘I want to do this. I want to be in this ceremony. ‘opening one day’, “Haugh said.
Almost 10 years after that moment, Haugh will represent the US team in the hammer throw. At present, the native of Georgia is ranked fifth in the world.
“So the hammer throw is pretty much the shot put. It’s a 16 pound ball on a 3 foot long line with a handle, you spin it in a circle and throw it as hard as you can. can, ”he said.
Haugh entered the sport in his sophomore year in high school after suffering a concussion while playing soccer. He says the injury caused his brain to bleed, which led him to choose another path.
“A lot of football players have run in track and field. They have thrown the shot put – all the bigger, stronger guys,” he said. “I thought if I couldn’t play football, I could still hang out with my friends and throw that shot put and discus thing.”
Turns out it was more than just being able to hang out with your pals.
He set records along the way – becoming the first person from his high school to become the national champion in the discus and hammer throw.
Haugh then went to the University of Alabama and made a statement there as well.
“Going to Alabama, I was two-time SEC champion, three-time All American,” he said.
Upon graduation, Haugh returned to Georgia to earn his masters degree at Kennesaw State and to bring his talents to the Owls track team.
His dad Jordan says watching his son qualify for the Olympics was the best Father’s Day gift ever.
“He was finally here. After 10 years he finally made it. It was a dream come true,” he said.
Now, Haugh is just weeks away from heading to Tokyo and making the dream of his life come true.
“Right now it’s just a matter of fighting for a top 3 spot in the games – to get a medal for Kennesaw State, for the Owls, for the United States,” he said.
Haugh usually spends around seven to eight hours a day training, but during Olympic training it comes down to around five hours.
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