Above and Beyond. Tim Mack, the Pole Vault, and the Quest by Bill Livingston

By Bill Livingston

Two Olympic medalists have been well-known at Quicken Loans enviornment in Cleveland, Ohio, days sooner than Christmas 2004. One was once the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, the "Chosen One" of the NBA. He had a bronze medal from the Athens video games that summer season. the opposite used to be a Cleveland homeboy too, a gold medalist who had flown larger than someone earlier than at the Olympic degree. infrequently an individual knew his identify. He used to be Tim Mack. His highschool trainer didn't see whatever really promising within the younger pole–vaulter. Mack by no means made it to the kingdom meet, and he was once the 1st to confess he had a terror of heights. yet due to his unflinching selection and self assurance, Mack went directly to turn out that he used to be something yet mediocre. In 2004 the younger athlete received the Olympic gold medal for pole vaulting. His bounce of nineteen ft 6–1/4 inches used to be not just Mack's own top however the optimum in Olympic historical past. Award-winning activities columnist invoice Livingston follows Mack as he practices one of many world's...

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Extra info for Above and Beyond. Tim Mack, the Pole Vault, and the Quest for Olympic Gold

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You can muscle some events,” added Kyle, “but not the pole vault. You have to have the technique. “But did I see greatness in Tim? To be honest, no. Tim was very good as a freshman, and he was going to be one of those guys who could really move up. I thought he might do 13 or 14 feet. Then he took the year off for baseball. ” The year away sent him back to vaulting, more determined than ever. “It was a blessing in disguise. He came back more dedicated. He had found something to latch onto,” said Kyle.

3 mph. The pole vault requires precise footwork on the runway, explosiveness on the takeoff, coordination on the pole, agility in getting off it, and the right stuff to even attempt the thing. It requires an all-out sprint while burdened with a cumbersome implement and exemplifying posture a runway model would envy. Other than that, anyone can do it. While world-class 100-meter men reach 25–26 mph, they aren’t carrying long poles. Sprinters lean forward to increase velocity, but pole-vaulters must run with an upright torso to increase their chances of success in the next phase of the jump.

Pole-vaulters slowly get the hang of the event. Bubka was an anomaly, winning the first of his six straight World Championships at the age of nineteen. For most pole-vaulters, however, the event is a struggle out of the old, bloody Greek dramas. C. No wonder frustration got the better of Mack for years. In a Mack family video from his senior year, a young spindly Mack competed in a meet in Sandusky, Ohio. His mother long ago made herself a vaulting aficionado, and while watching the video across the years, she barked, “His hands are wrong” as he held the pole.

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