Knoxville has a rich history in Olympic pole vaulters. Tim Mack and Lawrence Johnson both brought home medals.
This year, 20-year-old Angie Rummans is hoping to make the trip to London.
“I came to Knoxville just for one purpose- pole vaulting. Most of my days I spend pole vaulting, anywhere from 2-4 hours a day practicing. Other than that, I’m resting, recovering and sleeping.”
Her coach is Roman Botcharnikov. The Salon Azure owner has coached six Olympic pole vaulters, and he believes by next year, Angie will be the favorite in every meet.
Growing up, Angie always imagined herself standing on that Olympic podium, only that dream was in a different sport.
“I was actually a gymnast for 12 years, and my junior year I decided that I didn’t want to do gymnastics anymore. So I decided to try out pole vaulting, and I’d give it a shot.
It’s actually pretty crazy because I always thought gymnastics was going to be my one sport. Then to do a 360 in college and try a new sport, and be here now, it’s pretty crazy.”
In just three years, Angie’s already produced Olympic trial marks. She says her gymnastics background helped speed up the learning curve.
“I think it’s a lot of body awareness, and just like being fearless and just being able to flip over.”
Angie is competing in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials this weekend. She says the nerves haven’t hit her yet.
“I’m more excited and anticipating it. I think it’s more excitement than it is nervous, but I’m not there yet, so we’ll see.”
By Kris Budden