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Hagan Landry Wins Shot Put Silver Beaming With Pride For Louisiana

By Katie Grunik | Aug. 30, 2021, 12:31 a.m. (ET)

Hagan Landry reacts after winning the silver medal in the men's Shot Put F41 at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

 

TOKYO – Hagan Landry won a silver medal in the men’s shot put F41 during Monday morning’s track and field session at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. 

Landry had one word to describe the feeling of winning a medal at his long-awaited Paralympic debut – euphoric. 

“It’s a euphoric feeling,” Landry said. “My feet still aren't on the ground. You don’t come in here expecting a medal. You come here expecting to perform, and I’ve done just that. 

Landry lowered his American record on his way to the podium, throwing 13.88 on this third of six attempts. Bobirjon Omonov of Uzbekistan threw a Paralympic record 14.06 to win gold. Niko Kappel, the defending gold medalist, took bronze at 13.30. 

The Louisiana native won this medal is for his home state, currently being battered by Hurricane Ida. He said his family was safe, but he hadn’t had the chance to call home yet after the competition.  

“I hope my people got to see it,” Landry said. “The majority of them were blowing up my phone this morning saying they’re going to try regardless of the storm, so I hope y’all got to see it. That was for the state of Louisiana. Hopefully, it brings a light in this time of dark.” 

After the competition, Landry spent time thanking two key players in his Paralympic career – his grandma and his coach Larry Judge. This medal would not have happened without his grandma, his biggest supporter since day one.  

She funded him for his first trips when he got started in Para track and field in 2013. She continued to support his career until he could pay on his way. She also kept him in the sport when he was ready to quit. 

“In 2017, I finished second in the world, and I didn’t make the world championships team,” Landry said.  “I was just defeated. I couldn’t do it anymore. This was like my fifth team I missed out on. Why would I keep going? And she said, ‘No, you’re not stopping here. You’re going to keep on going.’ I couldn’t come here and not win this medal for her. This is all for her.” 

Hagan Landry reacts with his coach after winning the silver medal in the men's Shot Put F41 at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

 

Stepping out of the circle after his last throw in Tokyo, the American rushed to the stands and shared an emotional moment with his coach Larry Judge. Landry first started in track and field as a javelin thrower, but Judge saw his potential as a shot putter and helped build to his new Paralympic dream. 

While the pair celebrated in Tokyo, the road to the silver medal was paved through hard work. Landry overcame career setbacks, including missed world titles and being left off the team for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. 

“When I didn’t make the team in 2016, he was there with me and my family,” Landry said. “He’s another part of the reason I kept going. Every team I missed, he was there and had my back. He pushed me and motivated me…When I got here, I told Larry we’ve got to finish this. I started this journey with you. I’ve got to end it with you.” 

When asked if he and Judge trained any specific part of his throw in the lead up to Tokyo, Landry said he focused on patience – something that comes with the maturity of a 27-year-old first-time Paralympian. 

“That’s what doomed me at the 2019 world championships and a lot of other meets,” Landry said. “I focused on patience and controlling my mental state - just being calm and collected. My strength coach said ‘it’s nothing but air just breathe,’ and that’s exactly what I did.” 

Landry will have to display more patience in waiting to celebrate his silver medal with his family and friends in Louisiana. He competed on the world stage with seemingly more pride for his home state than any else on the team, something that’s been part of who he is since day one. 

“My pride for Louisiana comes from Louisiana itself,” Landry said. “If you ask anybody from there, we’re prideful. That’s just Louisiana as a whole. There’s no one you’re going to meet there that’s not proud to be from there.” 

Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020? Visit TeamUSA.org/Tokyo-2020-Paralympic-Games to view the medal table and results.

Katie Grunik

Katie Grunik is a digital content creator covering the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 for TeamUSA.org. She currently serves as the digital content coordinator for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

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