I got 99 problems and the pole’s just one

Think you’ve got it tough this winter? Try being a pole vaulter. We speak to Olympic champion Jenn Suhr about dodging the polar vortex, reverse parking a pole-laden Sedan, and poles on planes.


We spoke to Jenn Suhr during the depths of midwinter, last year. Then, the New York vaulter told us about the freezing quonset huts she’d spent the coldest months training in. Even though the temperature plunged to 14°F (-10°C), Suhr continued to train. By March she set a new indoor world record of 5.02m.

But this winter was far, far harsher. A polar vortex swept through New York, bringing the entire state to a frozen standstill. Even for the steely Suhr, this was too cold.

“The weather here in western New York has been atrocious,” she says. “We’ve fought it for years and we’ve trained in a steel building, heated with propane, and that’s how I learned to jump.

“I’ve trained that way since 2005. But this year we decided to get out of the area, to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.”


Olympics Day 10 - Athletics



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