Michelle Carter, who calls herself the “Shot Diva,” unleashed a Herculean final throw in the women’s shot put competition Friday night in Rio to take home the first-ever gold medal by an American woman in the event.
Carter, 30, heaved her last shot 20.63 meters to surpass and upset two-time defending gold medalist Valeri Adams of New Zealand. Adams had set the distance to beat, 20.42, and Carter’s first five throws had ranged from 19.12 to 19.87. But she came up big on her last attempt.
Carter, who won the event while wearing bright red lipstick, has the Twitter handle @ShotDiva, and owns the website shotdiva.com. Her website sells makeup services, such as $50 makeup lessons or $65 full face makeup. There are also all kinds of special packages for events like birthdays and proms. And there’s an advertisement for the “You Throw Girl Confidence Camp.”
Carter’s Twitter bio also includes the phrase, “Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good!” She sure made good on that saying Friday.
United States men have won 17 shot put gold medals since the Games began in 1896, but since the women’s event entered the games in 1948, no U.S. woman had won either gold or silver. American Earlene Brown won a bronze in Rome in 1960. Carter broke the gold drought.
Carter had never medaled at the Olympics, but took bronze at the 2015 World Championships, and won gold at the 2016 World Indoor Championships.
Carter is the daughter of former NFL defensive lineman Michael Carter. Michael won a silver medal in the shot put in 1984 in Los Angeles, and won the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers in the same year. He is the only person to win an Olympic medal and a Super Bowl in the same year.
Michelle’s gold also makes her and her father the first American father-daughter duo to medal at the Olympics.
Adams, who was beat out by Carter, is the sister of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, and is also a four-time World Champion.