Miles To Be Presented Olympic Bronze On Monday

Derek Miles pointing and holding pole vault. Derek Miles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota alum and current USD assistant track and field coach Derek Miles will be presented with an Olympic bronze medal by the International Olympic Committee in a ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, April 17.

The ceremony will be held in the DakotaDome Club inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in Vermillion. South Dakota U.S. Senator John Thune, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun and Miles are all scheduled to speak.

The IOC stripped a handful of athletes from the 2008 Olympics after banned substances were found during retests of samples from the games. Among them was Ukraine pole vaulter Denys Yurchenko who took home the bronze medal in 2008. Miles placed fourth in the event.

A native of Citrus Heights, California, Miles is a three-time Olympian who competed in 2004 in Athens, 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. He also represented the United States on six world championship teams and is a three-time U.S. National Champion. Miles retired following the 2012 Olympics with a personal best of 19-2 ½. Miles was inducted to the Henry Heider Coyote Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the USTFCCCA Division II Hall of Fame in 2013.

Miles has spent the past 14 years with the USD track and field program. Under his guidance, South Dakota has become one of the premiere vault programs in the nation. Miles’ athletes have combined for 12 All-America honors including a pair of national champions in Bethany Buell (2013) and Chris Nilsen (2017).

Miles and his wife, Tori, reside in Tea, South Dakota, with their son, Ariston.

Miles and other members of Team USA receiving reallocated medals will be honored at the 2017 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Assembly scheduled for Oct. 12-13 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News