Former dancer Valarie Allman wins U.S. first Olympic track and field gold in Tokyo

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Valarie Allman won Team USA's first gold track and field Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Monday, in the discus throw finals.

The big picture: Allman is the first American woman to medal in the discus throw since 2008. Her 68.98-meter throw beat German silver medalist Kristin Pudenz's throw by more than two meters.

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The intrigue: Allman hasn't always been a discus-throwing athlete. In fact, she used to be a professional dancer. Allman recalled in a statement that she was looking at taking up an extra activity when she learned throwers were hosting a spaghetti dinner.

  • "They said if you come try any of the throwing events you can come to the dinner," Allman said.

  • "That won me over. Now looking back, gosh darn that was the best spaghetti dinner of my entire life. I can't believe it."

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