Paris Diaries: Renaud Lavillenie and Sam Kendricks talk pole vault


The press conference with Renaud Lavillenie and Sam Kendricks was my favorite.

Renaud Lavillenie is the world record holder and world champion at the pole vault. Sam is the Olympic silver medalist and World indoor silver medalist as well. Last weekend, Sam Kendricks cleared 6 meters for the first time.

What is so great about these two? They compete and they are friends. Renaud was totally relaxed and so was Sam.

Sam spoke of the clearing of six meters, as akin to a right of manhood for pole vaulters, but also a very personal experience. He then smiled, looked at Renaud and said, you have cleared six meters twelve times?

Renaud just smiled.

LaVillenie_Renaud1h-PV15.jpgRenaud Lavillenie, photo by

Renaud Lavillenie has dealt with injuries for some six months. He hurt a leg so he had to rebuild his strength and be very careful. He is getting close to top fitness, but not there. Here was his amazing quote:

« It looks that people forgot that I was on only one leg for all the last winter. I needed to rebuild myself. It's not an easy task. Knowing that, my season in pretty decent so far. At first, I was not able to jump on a complete run up, I only could do it on 16 strikes. For the last 3 weeks, I could have done it, but the conditions on competition didn't allow me to. Despite this problem, I have been able to jump 5 times at 5.80 m or higher. That's correct but not enough to win a big event. But things will change, we are only on late june. Today, I don't feel any pain, I'm able to fully train and jump. »

Kendricks_Sam1c-Pre17.jpgSam Kendricks soars, Nike Pre 2017, photo by

Sam Kendricks is a US Army officer. He speaks like an officer (truly, a compliment) and enjoys the world around him. Here is what Sam Kendricks had to say:

« I'm very happy to be in Paris. Happy to be back in Paris, where things started for me. I remember being there in 2015, for the meeting, my first big international meeting. I was proud to be part of it. Now, things are different. Jumping 6 m in Sacramento was an important goal for me. It's was something I tried to achieve for a long time. With my coach, we worked a lot to do it. Now, it's done. It gives me a lot of confidence. »

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