I have covered the sport of athletics since 1982-83. While I worked in the ad production department at Runners’ World, my joy came from writing regional articles on athletes, products, whatever job I could get.
In covering athletes, I have met and interviewed a couple thousand, by estimates, over 30 years, I have to say, that Sam Kendricks is one of the favorites.
Sam not only loves his event, but he also speaks about the event with affection and an understanding that he may only have one chance to convert you into a pole vault believer.
Recently, I interviewed Sam Kendricks and Ryan Crouser, among five athletes, I asked them all to describe their events to non-track fans. Ryan had a classic description of the shot put that should go viral. Sam put it in a perspective. Check out the interviews: https://www.runblogrun.com/2021/07/usatf-pre-olympic-games-press-conference-questions-from-larry-eder-clip-athletes-ryan-crouser-shot-p.html.
Sam Kendricks now sits in isolation, as the positive COVID test put him as the focus of the LOC and their coronavirus protocols. He was put under quarantine and is watching the events most likely, including the pole vault, where I believe that he would have won, at least the silver medal.
Good luck, Sam.
See you, we hope at the end of the Diamond League season!
Official note, from July 28, on Sam Kendricks testing positive.
“Per the USOPC’s announcement, U.S. pole vaulter Sam Kendricks has tested positive for COVID-19 and is therefore ineligible to compete at the Tokyo Games. He and his close contacts were immediately notified and protocols were activated to isolate the athlete. We are following the USOPC and TOCOG’s guidance on next steps to ensure the safety of the remainder of our delegation, and to offer support to Sam.”