Not even a major knee injury could keep a former Boilermaker from representing her country on the world's biggest stage.
Former Purdue javelin thrower Kara Winger has been selected as a flag bearer in the Olympic closing ceremony, according to a Friday morning tweet.
Winger, who qualified for the 2021 Olympics in late June, overcame an ACL tear in her left knee during a late June meeting in Idaho, according to The Colombian. It was the second time she tore the ligament: the first time was before the London Olympic games in 2012.
"Just the whole experience of it right now is so fun now that I’m in the situation that I’m thriving in," Winger told Team USA. "That’s what I want to get back to. That’s my true motivation.
"Success is awesome, but just being part of a community and getting to go the places I go and make the friends I’ve made is my favorite part. I just want to keep being in it.”
Winger finished eighth in javelin events after throwing for 59.71 meters in a group A contest on Monday, according to USA today. Winger's throw would place her 17th overall.
A four-time Olympian, Winger has represented the United States in Beijing, London, Rio and now Tokyo. She has shown constant improvement, placing No. 41, No. 31, No. 13 and finally No. 17, respectively. In Rio, she became Purdue's first woman athlete to qualify for three Olympic games.
The former Boilermaker won three Big Ten championships, two All-American honors and an Olympic qualification all before she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, Fitness and Health in 2009. She also has the most throws over 200 feet in U.S. women's javelin history, according to her website.