Fredonia, N.Y. -- Jenn Suhr may not have been able to give her best pole vaulting performance in the Olympics due to an unexpected sickness, but on Saturday, she outdid Rio's Olympic gold medalist.
At a crowded gym in Fredonia, N.Y., Jenn's hometown, she cleared 16 feet, five and a quarter inches -- about one inch higher than the Rio Olympic Gold Medal Vault.
More than a thousand fans watched her as she vaulted several times in Fredonia University's Steele Hall.
"I can't tell you the feeling of how exciting it is to be back and able to perform with this support. It's just special," Suhr said, reflecting on how difficult it was to compete with her illness in Rio. "All of the sudden, when things don't go well, you realize who your true friends are. And it's this area, it's Western New York, it's the people out there, I really learned where the love comes from."
Suhr's parents, Mark and Sue Stuczynski, attended Saturday's exhibition as well. They still live in Fredonia, where they own a grocery store.
"She was nervous about being in front of her hometown," Sue said. "She wants to do really well for them. She feels a sense of responsibility to everybody."
Mark added: "I know for Jenn, more than anything else, it was a give-back. She just wanted to give something back to the community and say thank you for all the support."