Otterdahl returns home from Tokyo

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 11:30 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - United State Olympian and former Bison Payton Otterdahl returned home to Fargo Friday after placing tenth in the men’s shot put finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

He was greeted by fans at Hector International airport with cheers and support after Otterdahl became the first former Bison to advance to the finals of an Olympic event.

“It was the experience of a lifetime,” Otterdahl said of his time in Tokyo. “I didn’t compete the way I wanted to but still to come away tenth in the world, get all this experience under my belt and most importantly just see truly how much support I have both home and abroad, everywhere. It makes me feel so happy and loved.”

Otterdahl is the fourth ever Bison to compete in the Summer Olympics and plans to continue to represent the Bison and Team USA at the next summer games in Paris, 2024.

“It’s tons of great experience to compete with some of the best throwers in the world,” Otterdahl said. “I have two of the best in the world in Joe Kovacs and Ryan Crouser to look up to and I have a lot of hard work to do to get on their level in the next few years but Paris in 2024 is the goal.”

Crouser is a two time gold medalist, breaking his own Olympic record Wednesday in Tokyo. Kovacs wont he silver in Tokyo to put the U.S. in the top two spots on the podium for men’s shot put.

Otterdahl threw 66-8 (20.32m) on his first of three attempts, which ultimately earned him 10th place in the shot put final. The top eight performers earned three additional throws.

“Everyday I just kind of would wake up and go about my day and then remember, oh my gosh, I’m an Olympian and I accomplished my biggest goal in life, so far,” Otterdahl said about the last two weeks he spent in Tokyo. “I’m just ecstatic and I’m on cloud nine.”

Otterdahl competed for North Dakota State from 2014-19, winning a pair of indoor national titles as a senior. Since completing his collegiate eligibility, Otterdahl has competed professionally for Nike and served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bison throwers.

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