2017 Lausanne Athletissimo Diaries: Pole Vault Spectacular! Mondo Duplantis, Renaud Lavillenie and Sam Kendricks!

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Last week you had Sam Kendrick and Renaud Lavillenie speaking about their affection for the pole vault, their different approaches to vaulting and their appreciation for each other. This week, they added the new star of the sport, Mondo Duplantis. As Sam Kendricks said, "Mondo has more world records than Renaud and I combined, heck, I don't have any world records!"

This interview of Mondo Duplantis, Renaud Lavillenie and Sam Kendricks is worth a view and a listen!

Kendricks-Duplantis-LaVillenie-Lausanne17.jpgSam Kendricks, Mondo Duplantis and Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Mondo Duplantis, Photo by PhotoRun.net

Mondo Duplantis is the Boy Wonder. He loves the pole vault, and he is still, thank God, a teenager, with a family that loves and supports him. The pole vault is his passion, but it is not what defines him. His talent is extraordinary, but his training and life, overseen by his parents, have kept him focused.

Kendricks_Sam1c-Pre17.jpgSam Kendricks, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sam Kendricks is one of the nicest people on Earth. He is also an Army officer and a six meter pole vaulter. " I am in the club now, " noted Sam about reaching the six meter height. He admires Renaud Lavillenie, but also can compete against him. He also admires Mondo Duplantis, and won't give him any ideas, as Mondo knows how to compete, and as Sam knows, Mondo has to find his own way.

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Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

Renaud Lavillenie is the finest pole vaulter in the world. He has nearly touched the sun with his world record of 6.16 meters (indoors, 2014) and PB outdoors of 6.05 meters. He has won gold medlals in the Olympics (1), World Indoor Champs (32), European Champs (3), European Indoor Champs (4), and three bronze, one silver at World Champs. Renaud Lavillenie shows us his humanity, vaults prolifically and challenges the world with his understanding, appreciation and management of his vaulting skills.

For those who want to say that our sport will be lost when Usain Bolt retires, I use this cautionary tale. The sport was lazy and relied on Usain Bolt, who had the affection of the fans, and young athletes because of his genuine love of the sport, his fun approach and his amazing talents. Mondo Duplantis, Renaud Lavillenie, Sam Kendricks are kindred spirits. Christian Taylor, Pedro Perchado and Will Claye are also such athletes.

Our sport has a future, and it is the pole vault, triple jump as well as sprints, throws and distances. We have colorful characters who need to be promoted, respected and allowed to walk their own paths in sport superstardom.

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