BC alumnus earns gold medal in triple jump

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Eric Sloan hits his max distance in Canada during the triple jump Track and Field Olympic trial.

Darius Livingston, Sports Editor

Alumnus Eric Sloan left his legacy during his high school years and continues to impress all around the world. Sloan, a 2012 graduate of Bear Creek, recently traveled to Canada to train for the Olympic Track and Field triple jump event.

In Canada, Sloan earned a gold medal in triple jump with the measure of slightly more than 53 feet in the Olympic tryouts on August 10.

Sloan came to Bear Creek with no intention of becoming a triple jump star — but with the help of Jason Johnson, head track and field coach, he changed his mind.

“He was very small when we first got Eric,” Johnson said. “He was at first very discouraged because he wasn’t as fast as the others. I encouraged him to try triple jump and stick with it.”

To show his appreciation, Sloan gave Johnson the jersey he wore when he won the gold.

“I was overwhelmed with emotions,” Johnson said. “I didn’t feel worthy of something so special. Besides my daughter that God presented to my wife and me, it was the most treasured gift I had ever been given.”

Triple jump requires an athlete to run down the track and perform a hop, a bound and then a jump into the sand pit. The all-time Olympic record for this event is 59 feet, set by Kenny Harrison in the 1996 Olympic games. Sloan’s personal record is 53-feet, 1 ¾ inches.

With Sloan jumping 47-feet, 9 inches in triple jump and 21-feet, 10 inches in long jump in high school, he was a force to be reckoned with in both events.

Sloan has struggled to commit to triple jump, especially after an injury requiring surgery. During his senior year, Sloan suffered a tear in his patellar tendon when he landed awkwardly in the sandpit after a jump.

“Coming back took a lot of work and patience,” Sloan said.

Colleges that had previously shown interest in Sloan stopped calling and he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do anymore.

“At first I wanted to give up,” Sloan said. “I wanted to quit and do something else.” However with the push of his parents, coaches and friends, he was back on track.

Sloan attended Delta College and worked hard every single day in training. Now he says focusing on staying healthy is his top priority.

Sloan continues to work hard and works out daily to help prevent injuries.

In the next five years Sloan sees himself being a successful college graduate, but he is still undecided about what he wants to major in. However, he knows he wants to make a couple of Olympic U.S. teams in the future. So far, he is on track to achieve this goal.

Sloan plans to attend Delta College for one more year and compete in the Pan American games.

Sloan says the biggest inspirations in his life are God and his family.

“They have always pushed me to be the best I can be,” Sloan said of his family.

Sloan hopes to be jumping on the big screens in Brazil in 2014.