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Chatting with Valarie Allman: Olympic gold medalist discus thrower

Olympic gold medalist discus thrower Valarie Allman chatted about her upcoming competition at the Prefontaine Classic.

Valarie Allman
Valarie Allman. Photo Courtesy of TrackTown USA
Valarie Allman. Photo Courtesy of TrackTown USA

Olympic gold medalist discus thrower Valarie Allman chatted about her upcoming competition at the 2023 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

Allman was the first American to win this event at the Olympics since Stephanie Brown Trafton won back in 2008.

2023 Prefontaine Classic

“It feels great,” she exclaimed about the Prefontaine Classic. “I feel super excited to end my season here, at home in the United States. One of the things that is most exciting about Pre is that it has all of the best in the world put together, in a really small field, which makes for really great battles.”

“Being a professional athlete, and spending more time in Eugene, I watched the Steve Prefontaine movies and his story actually deeply resonated with me. I saw the challenges he faced, the fight he endured and how brave he was,” she said.

Allman continued, “Steve went so hard for such big goals and was successful in them. Seeing his story has really stuck with me, and there is something really meaningful about competing at the Prefontaine Classic.”

Valarie Allman
Valarie Allman. Photo Courtesy of TrackTown USA

The Prefontaine Classic will air live on the NBC family of networks in the United States. The meet will also be available to be viewed in over 190 countries. ‘This competition is going incredible,” she foreshadowed.

“I really appreciate all of the fans and supporters that will be there cheering and bringing out the performances and the athletes. So much of what makes electric competitions is what the fans and the crowd does, and I know Hayward Field is going to do that. It gives me great joy that this is our home track. The fans and supporters there are really some of the best in the world,” she elaborated.

Valarie Allman
Valarie Allman. Photo Courtesy of TrackTown USA

The discus throw

She is drawn to the discus throw for several reasons. “I would love for anyone to try it but what I love most about it is the dichotomy of power and grace. To be really good at it, you have to be almost balletic, smooth, graceful and have a sense of rhythm. Also, you have to be strong, powerful, and dynamic. When those things come together and you have that moment and you see that discus flying, it is a deeply special validating feeling.”

Daily motivations

On her daily motivations as a track and field athlete, she said, “I am really motivated by maximizing potential. In track and field, there is a finite result. I love being able to try to push the boundaries for myself and it has been really special to push the boundaries for the sport.”

Winning her Olympic gold medal in Tokyo

On winning the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo for Team USA, she recalled, “That was such a special moment. When I say it out loud that I’ve won an Olympic gold medal, it is still hard to believe. The fact that it’s real just puts a smile on my face.”

“Looking back, it was such a moment of joy and relief when it happened, especially how intense and stressful the buildup was to it (with COVID and the Olympic Games getting delayed). To be able to compete for it and walking away as a victor was a dream come true,” she acknowledged.

Silver medal at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest

Most recently, Allman took home the silver medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest (USA had a historic gold and silver medal finish) right behind fellow American Laulauga Tausaga-Collins. “Truthfully, the silver was pretty bittersweet,” she admitted.

“Going into this championship, I really wanted to win,” she said. “After winning the Olympics, it was hard to have a healthy sense of future goals. In the 2022 season, I felt so much anxiety competing and getting bronze that year definitely crushed me.”

“Going into this year, I had a more positive mindset and I really felt like this was the year that I could claim the ‘world champion’ title. Now, I do feel really proud of the result and super excited and proud of how proud American throwing has come, especially in the discipline of discus. To have two people medaling from America was incredible. I am now more excited for the years to come,” she elaborated.

Future plans

On her future plans, Allman shared, “In track and field, I am super excited to ideally compete through 2028. I want to give it my all and keep trying to make an impact in my event and in the sport. After that, I would like to use the degree that I earned in Mechanical Engineering from college and do something with that.”

Advice for hopefuls that wish the pursue the discus throw

For young and aspiring discus throwers, she encouraged them to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

“Discus is such a unique event that it takes time being uncomfortable before one gets comfortable. So much of what it takes to start improving is putting in the work and trying things new. Ultimately, that will result in big throws and a really rewarding feeling,” she explained.


On her definition of the word success, Allman said, “Success can mean multiple things at any time. For me, success used to mean winning. I’ve learned that you could be successful within athletics by allowing there to be other metrics such as improving your average or personal best or rewriting previous boundaries that have existed within the sport.”

To learn more about Olympic discus champion Valarie Allman, follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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