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Portland Runner Galen Rupp's Olympic Campaign Off To Dramatic Start

Bradley W. Parks
File photo of Galen Rupp competing at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in July.

There were medals a-plenty for Northwest athletes competing at the Summer Olympics in Brazil this weekend. One runner from Portland missed out on the podium in a dramatic race, but got kudos afterwards for sportsmanship.

Veteran distance runner Galen Rupp competed in the 10,000 meters alongside race favorite Mo Farah of Great Britain. The jostling pack of runners actually got too close leading Farah to trip and fall.

“There was a lot of pushing, guys slowing down in front, pushing from behind,” Rupp said.

He drifted back to offer encouragement to Farah after the Briton quickly got back up and worked to rejoin the leaders.

“I told him to get behind me after that and I'd help lead him back up,” Rupp said.

The two competitors represent different countries, but they’re also teammates from the Nike Oregon Project training group. Farah went on to win gold while Rupp faded to fifth at the end. The American from Portland gets another chance to win a medal in the Olympic marathon next Sunday.

Other Northwest athletes did reach the medal podium this weekend.

Swimmer Nathan Adrian of Bremerton, Washington, won gold in 4x100 medley relay Saturday night, adding to his considerable haul of swimming medals earned at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Games.

Fairly new Bremerton resident Chloe Dygert won silver in the team pursuit track cycling event. Fencer Mariel Zagunis of Beaverton earned a bronze in team sabre, her fourth medal across four Olympics.

Two former University of Washington crew members, oarswoman Kerry Simmonds and coxswain Katelin Snyder, won gold with the U.S. women’s eight Saturday. No complaints about the water in Rio from them.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.