Manchester's Mike Hartfield Out of Rio Games - NBC Connecticut
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Manchester's Mike Hartfield Out of Rio Games

Mike Hartfield Out of Rio

(Published Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016)

It's been a whirlwind two weeks for Manchester's Mike Hartfield.

He was added to the Olympic team as a replacement in the long jump and got that call on July 29-- his late father's birthday.

As a long jumper at Ohio State, Hartfield broke some of the records held by Olympic legend Jesse Owens.

Hartfield's first jump was 7.66 meters. It turned out to be his best jump. He fouled on the second one and did not make the finals.

Had Hartfield made the finals, he would have been jumping on the sixth anniversary of his father's death.

But for family and friends who held a watch party in Connecticut, the results changed nothing.

"I'm so proud of him. This moment was his," said Michael's cousin Phylicia Hartfield.

"He's going to think he let us down, but he didn't. He was already a gold medal winner before he even left town," said Don Logan, who was the best friend of Michael's dad.

Asked what he thinks Michael's father would say, Don said, "He would say, ‘Mike, you did your best. We love you. You got to where you got to, and we couldn't ask from any more.’"

Those close to Michael say he's been through a lot in his 26 years. Along with his father’s death, his mother suffered a stroke a few years ago.

"He's always been battling. He's been putting on his best, so now it's nice everyone sees his story," said Michael's cousin Courtney Roberts.

Family and friends say rest assured, Michael's story doesn't end here.

"No matter what, you're a champion, and we're proud of your accomplishments and what you've achieved thus far," said Michael's uncle Floyd Hartfield.

"I love you. This was your time. This is your season. It's still your season," said Phylicia. "Haven't seen the last of him. Trust me."

"You did all you can do. You did your best, and that's all you can do," said Michael's cousin Tre Roberts. "At the end of the day, he's an Olympic athlete. That's all that matters."

   

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