Any athlete who has won an Olympic medal will tell you the achievement was years in the making. But, for former University of South Dakota pole vaulter and current Coyote assistant coach Derek Miles, just getting the bronze medal he won at the 2008 Summer Olympics has taken nine years.

Miles will finally get that medal draped around his neck during a ceremony in Vermilion, April 17.

In Beijing, China, in 2008, Miles took fourth in the pole vault, with a jump of 5.7 meters (18 feet 8 inches). Years later, Denys Yurchenko of Ukraine, the original third place finisher, was stripped of his medal after testing positive for banned substances. His disqualification makes Miles the bronze medalist.

The International Olympic Committee will present Miles with the medal at next week's ceremony. The event begins at 10:00 AM in the DakotaDome Club, inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. South Dakota Senator John Thune, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun and Miles are all scheduled to speak.

Miles is a three-time Olympian who also competed in 2004 in Athens and 2012 in London. He has also been on six U.S. world championship teams and is a three-time National Champion.


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