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From Ram to Olympian: Johnsonburg Grad Shuey Makes the Cut for the Javelin at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Michael Shuey competes during the prelims of men's javelin throw at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP PhotoAshley Landis)

MONACO – Johnsonburg’s Michael Shuey is officially headed to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being held July 24 through Aug. 8, 2021 (because of the time difference and the International Dateline the games actually run July 23 through Aug. 7 in the United States).

Shuey qualified through the World Rankings quota system after finishing second at the U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon earlier in June 2021 but failing to throw an Olympic Qualifying standard distance.

That meant Shuey had to wait until the June 29, 2021, entry deadline to see if he would make the Olympics.

When the dust settled, 22 athletes qualified via the Olympic qualifying standard leaving nine spots open to those who were in the World Athletics Rankings for the event but had not thrown a qualifying mark.

Shuey is ranked 23rd in the world following the trials getting him into the field for the Olympic games along with fellow American Curtis Thompson, who edged Shuey at the Olympic trials for the U.S title. Shuey threw 259-feet, 11-inches, while Thompson threw 271-feet, 7-inches.

The men’s javelin will take place Saturday, Aug. 7 (Friday, Aug. 6 in the United States).

Shuey becomes the first former District 9 athlete to qualify for the Olympic games since Kane graduate Amy Rudolph qualified in the 5,000-meter run in 1996 and 2000 finishing 10th at the Atlanta games in 1996 and 21st at the Sydney games in 2000.

Kane graduate and former Punxsutawney head coach Chuck Daly led the inaugural “Dream Team” U.S. men’s basketball team to the gold medal at the Barcelona Games in 1992 becoming the last person with District 9 ties to medal at an Olympic games.

Shuey is a 2012 graduate of Johnsonburg High School and a 2016 graduate of Penn State.

While at Johnsonburg, Shuey won the 2012 PIAA Class 2A title and the 2011 District 9 Class 2A javelin championship. He placed second in District 9 as a senior in 2012 to Brookville’s Ryan Kerr and was also second in D9 to Kerr in 2010 as a sophomore while finishing 11th in 2009 as a freshman. He also finished seventh at the 2011 PIAA Class 2A championships and ninth at the 2010 PIAA Class 2A championships.

At Penn State, he won Big Ten titles in the javelin in 2014 and 2015 while placing second in 2017 and third in 2013. He still holds the Penn State school record in the javelin having thrown 2620-feet, 2-inches in 2017.

On a national and international stage, he won the 2014 North American, Central American, and Caribbean Under-23 championship in the javelin, and placed fourth in the javelin at the 2019 Pan American Games held in Lima, Peru. He was the U.S. champion that year.

Shuey is the son of Bill and Donna Shuey and has brothers, Matt and William and sisters Ginny, Sara, and Kelly. His dad was the girls’ volleyball coach at Johnsonburg and the boys’ basketball coach at St. Marys after a long and successful stint as the boys’ basketball coach at Johnsonburg. Matt played football at Clarion University and currently is the girls’ volleyball coach at Johnsonburg.

The games were delayed a year because of COVID-19 thus the 2020 Olympics being held in 2021.


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