RIO DE JANEIRO — Dreams come true. Even for kids from small-town Arkansas.
McAlmont’s Jeff Henderson is living proof.
“It’s a dream come true, a dream come true,” Henderson told Aaron Nolan on Sunday — just hours after winning a gold medal in Saturday’s long jump competition.
For Henderson, it came down to his final jump. He needed to come through big on his sixth attempt. Needless to say, he did.
“It feels like no other feeling,” said a smiling Henderson. “And I did it with the American Flag on my back.”
A day later, Jeff is starting a media tour around the International Broadcast Center
“That much. That’s the difference between a gold medal and a silver medal,” Henderson said noting the small distance between first and second place.
Over the next few days, Jeff will continue to talk about his performance. His pride right now is simply beaming — especially when he remembers a promise he made to his mom who’s in a hospital bed in the final stages of Alzheimer’s.
“It feels great to know that I went home and said ‘I’m going to get my gold medal, I’m coming back with it. I was going to do that no matter what it took and I did that. I’m going home with a gold medal,” added Henderson.
A mother’s love half a world away. It’s being felt in Rio.
“She’s fighting to stay alive, so that’s my motivation,” added Henderson.
Maybe just enough to help Jeff Henderson fly past the tough times and the short jumps to the ones that are more golden.