EUGENE, Ore. • After two ACL surgeries and countless close calls at major meets, 36-year-old javelin thrower Kara Winger earned a medal at worlds.

That silver felt like gold to the Colorado Springs resident.

“Very, very, very cool,” Winger said.

Winger earned it on her final throw. The long-awaited medal was in front of basically a home crowd given she grew up about two hours north in Vancouver, Wash. It was the first medal for the U.S. in the event at worlds.

Next up, retirement. But not before a few competitions in Europe — a victory tour, she cracked.

“I actually don’t know when my last throw will be, which maybe is fitting," Winger said. “It just really helps me treat each (throw) as the last.”

Winger attended Purdue and has made her home in Colorado Springs. Her husband, Pine Creek graduate and retired discus/shot-put thrower Russ Winger, served as her coach this past year.

Winger, the American record-holder in the javelin, helped the University of Colorado Colorado Springs track and field coach Keith Vance this past year with the team’s javelin throwers.

An eight-time U.S. champion and four-time Olympian, Winger carried the flag for the United States at the closing ceremonies of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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