Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Now clean from crystal meth, South African long jumper wins silver

Athletics - Olympics: Day 8

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: Luvo Manyonga of South Africa reacts after the Men’s Long Jump Final on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The failed doping tests we’re used to reading about don’t usually deal in crystal meth.

But that’s only part of we’re writing about South African long jumper Luvo Manyonga, thanks to a report from the Associated Press.

The 25-year-old won silver last night, losing out on gold by a single centimeter.

He even had a ‘no jump’ on his final attempt, but even that pales in comparison to the obstacle he overcame in crystal meth addiction.

It cost him 18 months on the track and a lot of his relationship with the coach who discovered him. Coach Mario Smith was killed driving to Manyonga’s house, and addiction stopped Manyonga from attending the memorial service.

But the South African did get clean. And he nearly won gold last night, proving that anyone can come back from a harrowing addiction like meth.

So it’s no surprise his comments on finishing second included, “No big deal. It’s just a competition.”

Follow @NicholasMendola