VFL retires, Olympic goal missed

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT.) -- The International Olympic Committee's decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games was tough on a lot of athletes - especially those that were at the end of their careers.

"My end date was always 2020," says VFL pole vaulter Chase Brannon. Among the supplements at The Health Shoppe in west Knoxville strolls Chase Brannon - who supplements his income as an employee.

Brannon moonlights as a pole vaulter; or at least he did until this week. Now 29-years-old he's trained for more than a decade to try to make Team USA.

"When I heard and just picturing another year in the grind I put my years into that so it's a tough decision to walk away but there are bigger things going on than sports right now. I understand why it's happening but I had to make a decision as an athlete as well," said the Brentwood native.

Brannon was an All-American at The University of Tennessee, graduating in 2013. Although he's braced himself for the end of his career, this abrupt halt has made him think about the future.

"I knew this day would come so you kind of prepare for it any way you can. Now I need to make a decision on what I want to do for a career with the experience I have."

If nothing else, Brannon hopes the lessons learned from this difficult experience will help vault him into the next phase of his life.