01 JUL 2002 General News Pole Vault

Pole Vault - Is it for me?

And the stick just takes a lick Wishing that it all goes well I hold my breath and wait

The pole vault, a jump for height achieved with the aid of a pole, demands a high jumper's skills of relaxation and coordination, a sprinter’s speed and a gymnast’s control. Every vault includes a fast run-up, a driving of the pole into the box, a catapaulting upwards of the athlete by the unbending pole, and an attempt to clear the bar. A pole vaulter must have very strong arms and shoulders, as well as boldness and a taste for risk. Vaulters are intrepid acrobats whose poles transform running speed into upward thrust to escape earth-binding gravity. They are truly cosmonauts of the stadium.