Clevelander Wins Gold in Tokyo

With the largest contingent of athletes from any country in the world, the USA certainly features men and women from all reaches within our great nation. Athing Mu, the gold medalist in the women’s 800 meter run, hails from the east coast in Trenton, NJ while gold medalist swimmer Lydia Jacoby is on the other end of the geographic spectrum where she calls Alaska home. Then you have the other several hundred athletes on the team who come from all points in between. Case in point, Katie Nageotte, from right here in our own backyard of Olmsted Falls, Ohio.

Nageotte, a graduate of Ashland University, competed in the Olympic trials back in late June for a spot on Team USA and earn it she did. Towering over the competition then, she cleared a personal best of 16 feet, 2.75 inches and had hopes of doing the same in Tokyo this month.

In what was the early morning hours today in the eastern time zone, Nageotte stood amidst the humidity under the Japanese sun as she prepared another attempt at the pole vault. After two somewhat disappointing clearances earlier in the day, Nageotte collected her thoughts and began her run toward destiny, and as they say, third time’s the charm.

She didn’t best her trial height of just a hair under 16 feet, 3 inches, but she did come incredibly close as she launched herself to a height of 4.90 meters, which is just shy of 16 feet, one inch, more than enough to claim Olympic gold. The Russian Olympic Committee took silver while Great Britain got its first-ever pole vault medal with the bronze (Microsoft News).

Nageotte has certainly made not only Northeast Ohio proud, but the entire country as well. At 30 years old and currently the best in the world at her sport, it’s unclear what the future holds for Katie Nageotte, though one thing is for certain. She is an example of the determination and hard work that Clevelanders pride themselves on.

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