Boise native Nick Symmonds took fifth place today in the men’s 800 meter run at the London Olympics. A group of hometown fans got together to cheer him on.
About 70 people watch Olympic coverage at Bishop Kelly High School. Staff, students, and alumni scan the screen for one of the school’s most notable grads. They cheer every time they get a glimpse of Nick Symmonds.
But then the race starts and Symmonds spends almost the entire time dead last in the eight man pack. But in the last seconds he passes three runners to take fifth place. That elicits the biggest cheer of the afternoon.
But not far behind in enthusiasm was the reaction after the race when the camera shows Symmonds hugging all the competitors. Symmonds’ track coach in his Bishop Kelly days, Tom Shanahan, says that’s what he’s always done.
“That’s the Nick Symmonds that we know. In high school one of the things that I tried to tell him is that you win with class,” Shanahan says. “But then there’s also going to be the days when maybe you’re not on and you lose with grace. He’s carried that through his pro career, and for that he needs to be commended.”
Symmonds won’t bring a medal home from London, but he beat his own best time, and just hours later he tweeted “I can sleep well knowing I did everything I could.”