Vashti Cunningham, Daughter of NFLer Randall Cunningham, Headed to Rio After Qualifying

Vashti Cunningham holds the U.S. flag after she won the women's high jump final during the World Indoor Athletics Championships AP PHOTO/ELAINE THOMPSON
Vashti Cunningham holds the U.S. flag after she won the women’s high jump final during the World Indoor Athletics Championships
AP PHOTO/ELAINE THOMPSON

Just one month after graduating from high school, high jump sensation Vashti Cunningham has been named to the 2016 USA track and field team headed to the Rio Olympics this summer. 

Cunningham, 18, is the daughter of retired NFL star quarterback Randall Cunningham, who acts as her coach and mentor, and Felicity de Jager, a former Dance Theatre of Harlem ballerina.

The teen prodigy – who signed with Nike in March, only weeks before her senior prom – is the reigning indoor world champion. She finished second behind three-time Olympian and American record-holder Chaunte Lowe on Sunday at the Eugene, Oregon, trials, with a stunning jump of 6-5 ½.

Both women are headed to Rio. If Cunningham medals at the Games, she will be the youngest U.S. track and field athlete to do so since 1972, reports Sports Illustrated.

Cunningham – lean, long-limbed and fiercely determined to prove her worth in Rio – says she approaches the bar like it’s her enemy.

“It’s kind of a confrontation between me and the bar, like I’m going to look at it and realize I can conquer it and I can destroy it basically. I go up and stare it down and realize that if my head can go over it, my body can go over it,” she told The New York Times.

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Source: People | ROSE MINUTAGLIO