Sergey Bubka and Renaud Lavillenie, European Indoors, March 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net
Lavillenie with two trophies
PARIS (FRA): Pole vault World record holder and IAAF Athlete of the Year Renaud Lavillenie won on Friday evening another award. Actually two during one evening. He became the Champion of Champions in the World and in France in the end of the year poll of the French sports daily LÂ´Ã‰quipe. The World trophy was presented to him by the IAAF Vice President and 35 time World record breaker in the pole vault Sergey Bubka. “Enjoy your title and seek new goals,” Bubka said. Lavillenie mentioned that he had a poster of Bubka in his room when he was younger. “It was he who invited me to Donetsk and put me in the best conditions to beat his record,” added the French athlete.
(Editor’s note: For many years, I just did not think anyone could jump 6.15m or better. Heck, 6.10m was amazing.
I was lucky enough to hear, from Sergey, the story of his first pole vault world record. I remember when Sergey vaulted in the states in 1995 at the Bruce Jenner; over four thousand fans stayed and watched, after the meet was over, except the pole vault.
Renaud Lavillenie broke Bubka’s record. Then, he tried at 6.21m and needed twelve stitches in his foot. Lavillenie had jumped for the stars, and cleared them, but that was not enough. Renaud went for 6.21m, and missed it, this time.
I have watched Lavillenie in great times and in tough times. His performance at Stockholm was his only sub par in 2014. Yet, the new king of the pole vault showed class: no excuses, and in his next event, he won once again.
For me, champions are not made with their victories, but coming back from rough events, injuries, or set backs. That is why Renaud Lavillenie is the champion of champions.)