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I won Olympic gold - sort of...
August 8, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
I'm an Olympic gold-medal winner in the pole vault!
Well, sort of...
OK, not really, but it was exciting to see a woman with my name do so.
You see, my maiden name was Suhr. An unusual last name, so it stands out. People didn't know how to pronounce it - it's pronounced "sir," but people always pronounce it "sure" or worse, "sewer." There was no way I'd have a hyphenated name, because it'd make me sound like I was trying to be a knight (Sir Brookens of the ball point pen and messy car?! Um, no thanks). So as much as I love my Suhr family, I became a Brookens 15 years ago when I married.
Just to keep an eye on my online reputation, I sometimes google myself (I know it sounds dirty, but it does help you keep track of what's floating around in cyberspace about you). I'd also check my maiden name, and usually my maiden name was either playing softball in Wisconsin or running a daycare in Michigan. Since that is the area where my family tree is based, I wasn't that surprised. But a few years ago, a pole vaulter also started showing up (she married her manager, who is a Suhr). And lo and behold it shocked both my husband and my mother when Jenn Suhr was at the Olympics. And she makes the point to spell Jenn with the two Ns as well! Needless to say, it's been a source of jokes and Facebook posts since she's won the gold. And, of course, I'm proud. Plus if someone truly believes I'm now 6-foot and 145 pounds, well... sure, go with that!
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My (maiden) namesake - Jennifer Suhr - wins gold at the Olympics in the pole vault.