Yes, our eyes are welling up.
Meet Ryan Crouser, the 28-year-old pro shot putter who just won his second gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, Aug. 5. While becoming a gold medalist is quite the feat already, the moment was even more impressive considering he's now won back-to-back gold medals in the same event and set a new Olympic record this year, beating the one he previously set in 2016. But that wasn't all.
Ryan's win also follows the loss of his grandfather, Larry Crouser, who died at 86 a day before the athlete left for Tokyo. "He's had a huge role in my throwing career," he said, according to USA Today. "To lose him a week before the Olympics was obviously sad, but I feel like he was able to be here in spirit."
In spirit and writing. After winning the competition, Ryan pulled out a note that read, "Grandpa, We did it, 2020 Olympic Champion!"—a fitting tribute to the man who played a pivotal role in his shot put career as a kid.
According to USA Today, Ryan practiced the sport in Larry's backyard until he was in eighth grade.
The note is even more meaningful considering the grandfather—who lost his hearing toward the end of his life—and grandson used notes to communicate. So what would have been Larry's response on this special day? "He would tell me to stop and smell the roses for sure," Ryan said, per USA Today. "That's what he would always tell me."