SportsOlympics

Actions

100 days of Kansas City-area Olympians: Erik Kynard Jr., high jump

London Olympics Athletics Men
Posted at 10:14 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 11:14:59-04

FORMER KANSAS STATE STAR ERIK KYNARD JR. WON A GOLD MEDAL IN THE MEN'S HIGH JUMP AT THE 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS AND FINISHED SIXTH AT THE 2016 RIO DE JANEIRO OLYMPICS. HE WILL TRY TO MAKE A THIRD STRAIGHT OLYMPIC TEAM LATER THIS WEEK. — Erik Kynard Jr. became the first active Kansas State athlete in 60 years to win an Olympic medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

Kynard, 30, initially won silver — clearing 7 feet, 7-3/4 inches — but the gold medalist, Russian Ivan Ukhov, later had his results banned for doping, so Kynard's medal was upgraded to gold earlier this year.

Erik Kynard
Erik Kynard clears the bar at 7 feet, 8 1/2 inches to win the men's high jump at the U.S. outdoor track and field championships, Saturday, June 28, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif.

Kynard returned to the Olympics Games four years later and matched his height from London during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but this time he finished sixth.

His mark (7-7 3/4) tied for the third-best in the final, but he missed out on a second Olympic medal based on prior misses.

Kynard was perhaps best known for the patriotic socks, featuring stars and stripes, he wore during Olympic competition.

London Olympics Athletics Men
United States' Erik Kynard walks on the track during the men's high jump final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.

Kynard, a native of Toledo, Ohio, will try to make a third Olympic team later this week. He's in the field for U.S. Olympic Trials, hoping to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Preliminaries for the men’s high jump are Friday.

Kynard won U.S. National Outdoor Track and Field titles in the high jump in 2014 and 2015, including a personal best 7-9 1/4 during the second championships.

He also finished third at the 2016 World Indoor Championships and fourth at the 2014 and 2018 World Indoor Championships.

With the Wildcats, Kynard won NCAA Outdoor titles in 2011 and 2012, finishing second in 2013. His best finish was third in 2011 and 2013 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Erik Kynard Jr
FILE - In this June 25, 2012 file photo, Erik Kynard Jr., reacts while participating in the men's high jump finals at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Kynard, who won six Big 12 high jump championships, remains the K-State record holder in the outdoor high jump (7-8 3/4) and indoor high jump (7-7 3/4).

The Kansas City region has a deep, rich history with respect to the Olympic Games. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games approach with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for July 23, we will profile an athlete with ties to Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas each day.

41 Action News and KSHB.com is your home of the Tokyo Olympics. Follow our coverage at kshb.com/sports/olympics and check out our complete list of 100 Kansas City-area Olympians as it is revealed.

Tokyo Olympics Learn More