The Presentation of the World Champ Pole Vaults, A review by Adam Johnson-Eder



Renaud Lavillenie, photo by

We asked Adam Johnson-Eder, creative manager of the Shoe Addicts, and a man with a previous career in the music business, to comment on the huge part that music now has in the presentation of our sport. Athletics now is embracing that sport is both athletics and entertainment.

We asked Adam to comment on the presentation and music in the pole vault on Thursday, March 17, 2016. We also asked him to make suggestions, if needed, on how to improve the presentation.

Portland played host Thursday to the opening of the 16th IAAF World Indoor Championships. In recent years, the IAAF has been hard at work trying to boost the excitement level of the audience, beyond the athletic accomplishments on the field. While improvements off the field have been hit-or-miss in the past, Portland got a lot right the first evening. From Renaud Lavillenie clearing 6.02 meters to Jenn Suhr's four vaults to perfection at 4.95 meters, the performances met the standard of excellence international competition is known for, and was met with loud approval from a near-capacity audience.

A plan only lasts until contact with the "enemy", however, and the "enemy" of Thursday's event was time itself.
From the opening ceremony through the first hour and a half or so, the music matched the competition's pace. It was light, energetic, and seemed to be enjoyed by most in attendance.
The final vaults, however, were accompanied by a mix of poor playlist planning, encapsulated by Lavillenie's attempt at 6.16 meters being accompanied by an obnoxious ticking clock.
How do we fix such an incredible, disasterous oversight? I would start with a call to WADA personally, I'm looking at you, D.J.
Having the athletes submit two or three of their favorite songs would be a good jumping off point, and it would give the fans a little more of a feel for the powerful personas that dominate the top of the sport.
All in all, it matters little.
Portland 2016 is here, and with it, some of the greatest competitions we are in for this year.
If the D.J. is the only one sweating by the end of this weekend, the IAAF will be able to sigh and wipe the sweat from their collective brows.

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