Algonquin runner Evan Jager may be a veteran Olympian but he took home his first Olympic medal Wednesday with a historic second-place finish in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase.
Jager finished with a time of 8:04.28 in a thrilling race, coming just behind Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto, who finished in 8:03.28.
"That was a lifelong dream of mine coming true," Jager said moments after his thrilling finish.
The last Amerian to medal in the steeplechase was Brian Diemer in 1984.
"I am just happy to carry the torch and keep it going and hopefully inspire some really talented kids to come out and do the steeplechase and possibly win a medal someday," he said Wednesday.
Jager, who set the American record in his fifth-ever competitive steeplechase race, competed in the 2012 Games but fell short of medaling, coming in sixth in the event’s final race.
The Jacobs High School graduate is unmistakable on the track thanks to his billowing blond hair and intense speeds.
He was originally a 5K runner, an event he's had success in since he traded his college career at University of Wisconsin-Madison for a professional one with Nike in Portland, Ore.
Jager qualified for the final event in Rio during his heat Monday, coming in ninth overall with a time of 8:25.86.