Her son, Jarred Rome, is scheduled to compete in the men's discus throw. This is the second Olympics for Rome, who was on the 2004 U.S. team in Athens.
"I can hardly stand it, I'm so excited," Blackwell said. "I'd like to see him do well but I'm just really happy he went. It's just amazing to think that I'm related to him."
The Marysville woman watched Rome throw 207 feet, 10 inches during the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials June 28 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The second-place finish earned him a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
After that, there was a lot of screaming and yelling, Blackwell said. She went down to the field to hug and kiss her son.
"He told me, 'I'm just so happy, Mom. I'm just so happy,'" Blackwell said.
Rome, 35, started throwing discus during his junior year at Marysville Pilchuck, Blackwell remembers. He also played football and basketball at that time and needed a spring sport to help keep him in shape, she said. He continued on as a discus and shot put thrower for the Boise State University Track and Field team.
Rome was devastated after he failed to make the 2008 U.S. Olympics team, Blackwell said. He continued to train and compete though and received a silver medal in October at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Rome has spoken about the possibility of earning an Olympic medal, said his father, Daniel Rome, who lives on Hat Island.
"He's excited about going after something in the Olympics," he said. "He's pumped."
Daniel Rome and Blackwell both plan to leave for London next week with about eight other family members and friends. The group plans to wear matching T-shirts that read, "Rome in London." They'll cheer their son on during a qualifying round Aug. 6. The final men's discus event is set for Aug. 7.
At home, family friend and Marysville Pilchuck Tomahawk Booster Club member, Kris Hanson, got to know Rome after van pooling with his mom. She now follows Rome's Olympic experience on Twitter at @JarredRome and on Facebook. He held a throws clinic in March at the high school for all area throwers.
"I'm a huge fan of Jarred's," Hanson wrote in an email. "Jarred has a strong desire to give back to the community where he grew up and provide young athletes with the opportunities and experiences he has had through athletics."
Blackwell this week emailed Rome a link to a proclamation read Monday night at a Marysville City Council meeting. In it, the city states its support for Jarred as he "Throws for the Gold."
Rome, who now lives in San Diego, is expected in October to visit Blackwell in Marysville.
"Jarred loves seafood," she said. "We spend most of the month going from one seafood restaurant to the next."
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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