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Olympic gold medalist Valerie Allman returns to alma mater

Allman took the gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Valerie Allman stands on a podium after receiving her 2020 Tokyo gold medal in front of the Silver Creek High School student body.

Valerie Allman took the gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for her 226’ 4” discus throw. On Thursday she visited Silver Creek High School where her track and field journey began.

Allman had never tried track and field before entering high school. She began with running events and found them to be too painful, she said. Then she tried the high jump where she cracked the bar — something she said she didn’t know was even possible. 

The Silver Creek throwing team had a tradition that intrigued Allman. If you tried any of the throwing events, you were invited to a spaghetti dinner.

“It was the best spaghetti I ever had,” Allman told a gym full of Silver Creek students. 

Allman took to the event naturally and surprised her coach Barbara Keith by throwing the discus so far it dinged the baseball team’s scoreboard. Keith told Allman’s mom that the school might need to find a longer field for her to practice on.

“My number one piece of advice is to be willing to try new things,” Allman said. 

Allman was also part of the Silver Creek Leadership Academy’s inaugural year. Students in the SCLA create projects that have a positive impact on the community. Allman decided to organize a shoe drive that gathered over 10,000 shoes. 

“The halls smelled like feet but it was for a worthy cause,” said Kerri Adams, SCLA mentor.

When Allman won the Olympic medal it was at the height of the pandemic. The rules and regulations at the time prohibited guests from being present and Allman received her medal without an audience. 

On Thursday, the Silver Creek staff organized a medal award ceremony in which Allman’s former coach, Keith, to place the medal around her neck. The Silver Creek marching band played the “National Anthem” as Allman stood upon a podium, receiving the gold once more at the place it all began.