Local athletes heading to Junior Olympics

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published July 19, 2019

 Robert Thompson IV does the long jump during an event earlier this year. Thompson is heading into the fifth grade.

Robert Thompson IV does the long jump during an event earlier this year. Thompson is heading into the fifth grade.

Photo provided by Robert Thompson III

 Jordyn Thompson stands with her medals after an event earlier this year. Thompson will compete in the shot put, discus and javelin in the Junior Olympics.

Jordyn Thompson stands with her medals after an event earlier this year. Thompson will compete in the shot put, discus and javelin in the Junior Olympics.

Photo provided by Robert Thompson III

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WALLED LAKE/WEST BLOOMFIELD — When Jordyn Thompson and Robert Thompson IV head off to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the Junior Olympics July 24 through Aug. 3, they will be competing against some of the best athletes the U.S. has to offer.

Jordyn, a soon-to-be freshman at Walled Lake Western, will be competing in the shot put, discus and javelin. Robert, heading into the fifth grade at Pleasant Lake Elementary in West Bloomfield, will take part in the long jump, shot put and turbo javelin.

This will be Jordyn’s first year competing, while Robert will be looking to improve upon his performance from last year’s games.

“Beat my (personal records) mostly and just have fun. Watch my brother succeed, watch me succeed, have fun, hang out with the team,” Jordyn said about what she’s hoping to get out of the experience.

Getting to this kind of stage doesn’t just happen. It’s taken plenty of work with multiple coaches to reach this level.

The two athletes have worked with Dior Mathis, of P80 Speed; Doug McDowell, of Waza Track Club; and Toby Pallett, of Magsig-Pallett Throwing Club, to improve.

Schedulewise, Jordyn and Robert aren’t taking this opportunity lightly. Throughout the year, they have worked multiple days a week to improve in certain areas.

“All year, I get two days off, but for the past week and until North Carolina, I only get one day off a week,” Robert said. “I kind of like it.”

Both Jordyn and Robert mentioned just how competitive they can be and believe that their competiveness can fuel them throughout the Junior Olympics. In Robert’s case, having a year of experience under his belt is also a factor that can help him perform better.

For the two athletes, there are some nerves. But with the opportunity, they are also excited to see what they can do on such a big stage.

As the Junior Olympics approach, their dad, Robert Thompson III, has some pretty simple advice for his kids. He just wants them to do the best that they can and is proud of what they have accomplished.

“No matter what they do, I’m always going to be proud of them,” the father said. “They motivate me to do better. If they can push through this, if they can experience this, it makes me want to do more for them. It makes me want to be a better father for them.”

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