Olympian Inika McPherson took her first high jumps at the Drake Relays on Friday night dressed as a “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” character.
She finished the competition in more normal attire, taking runner-up to Rio teammate Vashti Cunningham in Des Moines, Iowa. McPherson, 31, cleared 1.91 meters and missed three attempts at 1.94.
“Every time I teach kids, I tell them to get an alter ego, think of a super hero they really like,” McPherson told media. “I grew up watching Power Rangers. I always wanted to have something to say, hey, thank you.”
McPherson, a 5-foot, 4-inch jumper who made the Olympic team after a 21-month cocaine suspension, said she chose the Black Ranger costume over the Pink Ranger because “he was the leader of the group.”
“I tell kids, you can’t be the same person you are at home when you’re just so, like, hella-cool,” she said. “You’ve got to be your alter ego.”
McPherson had difficulty seeing the bar behind the full body suit that covered her face. She also struggled with breathing, so she took it off for the later rounds.
The 10th-place finisher in Rio said she might bring the costume back for the USATF Outdoor Championships in Des Moines in June.
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