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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Barrett still basking in her Summer Olympics success

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Wally Skalij
USA's Brigetta Barrett clears the bar and wins the silver medal in the women's High Jump at the Summer Olympics on Saturday, August 11, 2012, in London, England. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

The Olympics were almost a month ago, but Brigetta Barrett is still smiling from her experiences. The Arizona senior high jumper won a silver medal for the U.S. in the event. But that’s not enough, Barrett wants more.

“I always want to make my expectations seem impossible,” Barrett said. “That way if I’m reaching for the stars and I get to the clouds I won’t be too upset because I still really achieved a lot. It’s all about putting those expectations up there for yourself and believing that you can.”

Barrett’s jubilant personality and athletic ability as a high jumper has proved to be an inspiration for her teammates. In particular, fellow Wildcats’ athlete Georganne Moline, who came in 6th place at the Olympics in the 400-meter hurdles.

“Both on and off the track Brigetta is talented,” Moline said. “Having Brigetta on my team motivates me. I was telling everyone that I wished she jumped before I ran (in the Olympics) because she inspires me.”

Becoming an Olympic high jumper wasn’t always a dream of Barrett’s. Coming from a low-income situation, Barrett really just wanted to find anything she could do that would help get her into college.

“My goal was to get into college on some type of scholarship,” Barrett said. “I wanted to graduate from college and I wanted to get an education, which is why I started doing track.”

For Barrett, who is also a singer and recently sang the national anthem prior to an Arizona soccer game, a lot comes natural to her. High jump didn’t, but soon after she took a fondness for the sport, Barrett already started aiming high.

“I would say around my junior year of high school I really began mapping out my goals for high jump,” said Barrett. “I want to be the best high jumper in the world, I want to break the world record, I want to be a gold medalist at the Olympics, and I want to be the highest jumper to ever jump in college, in high school, or at any school.

“I just want to be the best.”

Barrett’s ultimate goal was to be a medalist at the Olympics, which she accomplished — and then some.

In London, Barrett won a silver medal with a jump of 6-feet, 8-inches. But even before that, at the UA Barrett has received her fair share of accolades.

In her sophomore season, Barrett claimed NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles in the high jump. She was a U.S. world championship gold medalist and was an academic All-American, as well as indoor field scholar-athlete of the year.

That summer, she began competing internationally. Barrett was invited to compete in a diamond league meet in Monaco, and then she won gold at University games in China. She ended her 2011 summer competing in the World Championships in South Korea.

In 2012, she was the Pac-12 and NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion, along with being named an Academic All-American.

So, by the time she actually arrived at the Olympic games, she had already accomplished quite a bit. Just getting there wasn’t enough, though, and Barrett compared her Olympic experience to the Miami Heat winning the NBA championship.

“This year when the Heat made the finals they didn’t celebrate, they weren’t excited to make it to the finals,” Barrett said. “They knew they belonged there, they had the mentality of lets go get what we came here to do. That’s how I felt going into the Olympics. I knew I was better than these girls, I can beat them, this is time to show them and prove that I can do this.”

Barrett might have fallen just short of winning the gold but she is still proud for winning silver and will use it as motivation to achieve gold in the 2016 Olympic games.

“I just feel blessed by God,” Barrett said. “I feel I’m unworthy, it’s crazy, and I don’t understand why I’ve been so lucky … it’s become this thing where I’m completely in awe and humbled by everything that has happened in my life.”

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