RIO DE JANEIRO — Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks was content to walk away with the Olympic bronze medal following what he called “the most enjoyable pole vault competition of his life” on Monday, Aug. 15, at the Rio Olympic Games.
It took two Olympic records, set by the gold and silver medalists, to top Kendricks’ vault of 19 feet 2 inches and push him to third place on a rainy Monday night at the Olympic Stadium. Brazil’s Thiago Braz da Silva won the gold with an Olympic record vault of 19 feet, 9 inches. France’s Renaud Lavillenie took the silver at 19 feet 7 inches.
“I know that the Olympics is like a high tide. It raises all boats,” Kendricks said. “It brings the best out of all of us. I was so happy to watch my friend Thiago set his personal best, in his home country, in front of his home crowd.”
Kendricks said he will be proud to take the bronze medal home to Mississippi from Rio de Janeiro.