After an intense, tumultuous and fulfilling year, Olympic champion Jenn Suhr is looking forward to a more relaxed 12 months.

And she can do so with the No. 1 world ranking still in hand.

Suhr enters 2013 as the top-ranked women’s pole vaulter by Track and Field News, the predominant source for track and field rankings, for the second straight year.

“Having done it two times in a row, no one questions if it was a fluke the first time,” said Suhr, who lives in Riga with coach and husband Rick Suhr. “Having it two years in a row shows what we’ve been doing in training and what we’ve accomplished. We have a bull’s-eye but it’s a good place to be in.”

The ranking is based on the entire year’s performances, which included a dramatic gold medal victory during the Summer Games in London.

The 30-year-old from Fredonia suffered a badly torn quadriceps muscle just five weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials, but recovered enough to win there and claimed her first gold medal on Aug. 6.

“One word that comes to me is distinction,” Rick Suhr said of being the world’s No. 1 at the start of another year. “Time after time, Jenn surprises people and does things no one thought she could.”

With her health restored, Jenn Suhr is entering the new year with a renewed focus.

This time it’s about having some fun.

“I’m not putting pressure on (results) this year. Last year was a very pressurized situation every meet. For 2013, I want to enjoy it and work on the technical things.”

Rick Suhr said he wanted to take the year off to relax and recharge, but by November it was clear that Jenn, a holder of eight American track and field records, was ready to get back to work.

Full-scale workouts began earlier this month.

There will be more emphasis on the upcoming indoor season than in the past, something Jenn Suhr is excited about after seeing steady improvement in her technique.

A full year of good health can certainly help.

“We’re still trying to perfect the technique and after we do that, she’ll only keep jumping higher. She’s better now than she’s ever been,” Rick said.


Jenn Suhr
Jenn Suhr

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