There are only three weeks till the Olympics begin. Shelby McEwen, a native of Mississippi, will compete for Team USA in the men’s high jump at the Tokyo Olympics.
McEwen grew up in a modest house on a residential street in Abbeville, Mississippi. He was frolicking in the backyard.
McEwen: “I realised, ‘wow, I can jump,’ maybe about my second grade year.”
A trampoline is what we got for him. Sharon, McEwen’s mom, described how her son Shelby “went out there one day leaping, jumping, jumping; he busts his head wide open, burst it wide open.” We rushed him to the emergency room, but after a few days he went back to the scene of the crime and broke it open once more. At that moment, I realised that he had great jumping ability.
Basketball was Shelby’s first true love. By the time he reached eighth grade, he was routinely dunking during games. He was a member of the Oxford High School basketball team, but he also participated in track and field. He travelled the country playing AAU basketball. And he showed the world in Vegas that he had hops, too.
As the Winner of the 2014 Jordan Brand Dunk Contest.
Leaving the FT line behind the line was a turning point in my life, but I told myself I was just going to take off. “That day, everything changed for me,” McEwen said.
He decided to play basketball at Northwest Mississippi Community College as a junior college athlete despite his interest in track and field. He entered collegiate meetings on his own and found that he was good at the high jump, leading him to pursue the sport professionally.
After that, he claimed, “people started making offers.” From the time I graduated from junior college, I was adamant that the Southeastern Conference would be my home. When that happened, I resolved to go the T&F way.
And I told him, ‘Son, if you want to get that division one scholarship and get that education, go ahead and do the track and field, because you’re already well up here in track,'” Sharon recalled telling her son.
McEwen chose to attend the University of Alabama, where he won the high jump title twice at the Southeastern Conference and all-around titles at the national level.
After finishing college, he enrolled in Olympic training at the University of Louisville. However, when COVID-19 struck, he returned to his native Mississippi in order to resume his training.
An enormous change had occurred. McEwen admitted, “I had to confront a little difficulties.” Indoors, I had a tough time, but I finally forced myself to stop making excuses and simply do it. I always knew who was on my side.
S. McEwen Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
His parents were the driving forces behind him eventually making it to Tokyo.
Shelby’s coach in Louisville would send him the week’s workouts through email every Sunday. His mother, Sharon, would accompany him to the track every day to aid with his training.
“As a mother, I freaked out for a good month or two,” she admitted. Finally, I told myself, “OK, I can do this. Instead than having him go out and interact with people, I’d rather he stay in and do this.
Jointly, they witnessed the fruits of their labour.
Shelby achieved a new personal best in May, jumping 2.33 metres. As of right now, he is the world’s number three best high jumper. That’s what he stated a week ago, right before the Olympic trials.