After coming down with an illness in Rio, Fredonia native Jen Suhr powered through, but was unable to defend her Gold Medal.
The 34-year-old penned a note to Western New York and her supporters worldwide.
"The feeling of disappointing yourself is hard to handle. The feeling of disappointing others is even harder," she wrote. "I am embarrassed and upset. I am trying to come to grips with the unfortunate circumstances that came about this last week. It is a blurred nightmare."
Her husband, Rick, posted updates on the health of the pole vaulter, at one point indicating the reigning Gold Medalist was coughing up blood as her condition continued to worsen in Rio.
Despite the medical setbacks, Suhr still qualified for the Olympic Final. She tied for seventh.
"During my Olympic Final warmup, I felt hopeful, but I also knew that was all I had," she wrote. "I felt my muscles start shaking my legs give out from under me. It was such a helpless feeling."
"I cried because I felt and still feel like I disappointed you," she continued. "I cried because I let you down."
"Western New Yorkers are tough, we are workers and we don't quit. We give 100% even if we aren't. My parents, my grandparents taught me this...Rick's parents, his grandparents taught him. Their WNY attitude, grit and fire were passed down to us."
"The only thing I know a WNYer would do is to get right back out there and fight again. I feel loved by all of you. I gave all I had."
You can read Suhr's full note below.
The feeling of disappointing yourself is hard to handle. The feeling of disappointing others is even harder...... pic.twitter.com/IbwVnbeihs
— Jenn Suhr (@JennSuhr) August 20, 2016
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