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Sam Kendricks talks American record, road to 2020 Olympic Games (Includes interview)

On February 8, Kendricks broke the American indoor record in the pole vault with a clearance of 6.01 meters. “The cool thing about jumping the American record on Saturday night was that I got to contribute to the legacy of our event in my own way since, at the same time, Mondo Duplantis broke the world record in Poland,” he said.

“I can’t think of a better way for people to get more interested in our sport than showing them the best of it, and that’s what we did, for sure,” Kendricks added.

Kendricks had nothing but the kindest remarks about Mondo Duplantis. The camaraderie that Kendricks has with Duplantis and his fellow pole vaulters is quite remarkable. “I have been talking to Mondo all day,” Kendricks admitted.

He also complimented fellow American pole vaulter Sandi Morris for attempting to break the women’s pole vault world record at the Millrose Games in New York. “Track and field pole vaulting is the one to watch this year,” he exclaimed.

Two-time world champion pole vaulter Sam Kendricks

Two-time world champion pole vaulter Sam Kendricks
Scott Kendricks

In January of 2020, Kendricks was a part of the Expo Explosion in Texas. “I want to contribute to the event because there are not so many of those in the United States,” he said. “Jack Chapman, who put on the Expo Explosion in Texas, has done a fine job over the last decade building the brand of that event and it helps so many young pole vaulters. When I was younger in the sport, the hardest thing to find was the knowledge to figure out what to do next. This year’s Expo Explosion was a roaring success.”

The Mississippi native is looking forward to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon in mid-June of 2020. “The new stadium will be finished,” he said. “They rebuilt Hayward Field into a modern stadium. It should be a renowned stadium in the United States, a true track and field-dedicated stadium that will be a home for generations of athletes to come.”

Sam Kendricks at the 2019 World Championships in Doha

Sam Kendricks at the 2019 World Championships in Doha
Daniel Mitchell

Kendricks described his gold medal win at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar as “truly the finest competition I have ever been a part of.” “It was the most neck and neck and evenly-matched competition. Having me, Mondo Duplantis, and Piotr Lisek share the medals was like a Christmas dream. It takes true competitors to make a competition worth remembering,” he said.

Sam Kendricks wins the men s pole vault competition in Doha  Qatar

Sam Kendricks wins the men’s pole vault competition in Doha, Qatar
Daniel Mitchell

Prior to that, Kendricks had set a new outdoor American record in the men’s pole vault with a jump of 6.06 meters. “I am very thankful for that,” he said.

A career-defining moment for Kendricks was back in ninth grade when he won the bronze medal in the state championship. “That forecasted a sense of accomplishment that I would feel for years and years to come. It was an understanding that no good effort goes unappreciated,” he said.

When asked if there will be a Sam Kendricks Challenge No. 3, he responded, “Well, probably since Mondo blew the other two challenges out of the water. Mondo and I need to collaborate on the next one. I have to make another one soon.”

Kendricks defined the word success as “appreciating what you gave in the sport, and you hopefully took something home because of it.”

For his fans, Kendricks concluded, “Thank you. I only hope to compete my best and wear my uniform with pride. You need to understand your destiny in sports.”

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 17,000 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a six-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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