Cleveland, OH

Cleveland native Katie Nageotte wins gold at the Olympic's women's pole vault

Paul Krasinic

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CLEVELAND/TOKYO — Katie Nageotte, a Cleveland native, has won the gold medal at the Olympic Games’ Women’s Pole Vault.

“Cleveland, this is for you!” She said. She delivered her winning jump on the final round on Thursday, August 5.

Initially, it took Nageotte three attempts to clear the first 4.50-meter height, which eliminated nine of her competitors. She then moved on to the 4.80-meter height, and ultimately won the gold medal as the top performer when she cleared the bar when it was at 4.90 meters.

Nageotte said that it was the worst warm-up she’d had in a long time, and the first few jumps were less than what she expected from herself. It took her a few heights to find the right momentum and finally deliver a smooth jump.

Eventually, Nageotte cleared the 4.95 height; a feat that none of the three other competitors could achieve. Thus, the gold went to the Cleveland native. She even had the chance to challenge the world record, although she was unsuccessful on that.

Nageotte was born on June 13, 1991. She began her athletic career, taking up the pole vault when she was enrolled in Ashland University. During that time, she won two NCAA Division II national championships. Her gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is not her first, but rather her second. Nageotte’s first gold was at the 2018 NACAC Championship in Toronto, Canada.

"It hasn't even begun to sink in yet," Nageotte said after beating the world champion Anzhelika Sidorova (ROC). "This is the biggest dream I have ever had for myself. And here I am living the dream. "I will tell you when it finally sinks in. This is about as good as I could feel. We've all been through so much with COVID and everything, I'm really grateful."

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