The video is pure (Olympic) gold.
There is Minnesota native Mason Ferlic in the throes of the final stretch of the 3000-meter steeplechase final Friday at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore. A team slot on the line.
And there's his Roseville family, clad in blue: parents Mike and Char, brothers Nolan and Evan, and Mason's girlfriend, Catherine, at the track's edge in front of the final barrier, willing him on. Moments later they realize Mason has finished third – and made the U.S. team headed to Tokyo. And there is joy in witnessing their joy.
Mason's success was all the sweeter because of Ferlic's deep and mixed history on the track in Eugene, his father said Tuesday after sharing the video.
While running for the University of Michigan, Mason crashed in a water pit during the NCAA steeplechase final in 2015.
In 2016, he found redemption and won the NCAA championship.
"That always haunts you. It never ends," said Mike. "We were in perfect position to witness glory or a terrible tragedy at the water pit and final barrier."
Equally rewarding, Mason's father said, was watching his son succeed after up-and-downs in his professional running career while he pursued a master's degree in aerospace and later his Ph. D.
Now Mason, 27, a former standout for Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, gets to savor all that's come before this bit of Olympic glory before he takes on more water and more barriers among the world's best.
"It's literally from disaster to the phoenix rising out of the ashes," Mike said of watching his son's big day.