by Dan O’Brien, Brad Botkin
Only one man, the Olympic Gold Medalist in the decathlon, is officially deemed the World’s Greatest Athlete. As an orphan who is never met his biological parents, as a recovering alcoholic, as the subject of a timelessly infamous advertising campaign, as the athlete of maybe the most publicized and shocking failure in the history of sports, and as a man who persevered through it all to dominate his sport like few athletes ever have, it is no wonder Track & Field News calls Dan’s life, the stuff movies are made of. Dan’s meteoric rise to prominence saw him take the No. 1 world ranking less than two years removed from his only college season, and he became an overnight celebrity when cast alongside Dave Johnson in Reebok’s massive Dan & Dave ad campaign. The commercials debuted during the Super Bowl, but when O’Brien infamously failed to qualify for the Olympic team it was called the most shocking moment in U.S. Olympic history, and to this day ESPN ranks it as one of the all-time sports busts. Undeterred, O’Brien went on to capture his record-tying fifth national championship in addition to a third consecutive more
Alex Averbukh is an icon of Israeli athletics. The pole vaulter is still the only athlete from his country to stand on the podium at the European Athletics Championships, winning gold medals at the 2002 and 2006 editions.
His first victory was especially poignant as it was achieved in Munich, just a few weeks ahead of the 30th anniversary of the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches when the same German city was the host of the 1972 Olympic Games.
Averbukh also won at the 2000 European Athletics Indoor Championships and took the silver medal at the 2001 World Championships. He holds the Israeli record with 5.93m, which he cleared in Madrid in 2003.
In an exclusive interview with European Athletics, Averbukh reflects on his career and especially his European Athletics Championships victories, as well as what it might take to join him on the continental role of honour.
The 2012 European Athletics Championships, which will be held in Helsinki from 27 June – 1 July.
Q: What is Alex Averbukh doing now, three years after he retired? Continue reading
Kane, PA. –Patrick Anderson of Kane isn’t resting on his laurels after winning the pole vault for the second consecutive year in the state championship track and field meet.
He set the Class AA record by clearing 15 feet, 11 inches in the state meet.
Anderson, who holds the Kane school record at 16 feet, 4 ¾ inches in the pole vault, is setting his sights on lofty goals—even a shot at a future Olympics.
“Right now, I’m trying to clear 17 feet in a meet,” Anderson said. “I’ve done it in practice.”
Anderson, who graduated from Kane High last week, is headed to Penn State University on an athletic scholarship. As a freshman who will major in wood products, he will be the No. 1 pole-vaulter on the Penn State track team.
Although he’s completed high school and is waiting to enter college, Anderson won’t be taking the summer off from the pole vault pit.
He’s planning to compete in several meets, including the New Balance National Outdoors Meet this weekend at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C. The meet ranks as a highlight for the national high school track and field season. more
Belfast, Northern Ireland –A former Commonwealth pole vault champion who trained using old mattresses from refitted ships in Belfast has been awarded the OBE. Mike Bull, 65, attracted audiences of hundreds of shipyard workers on their lunch break as a student in the 1960s, practising in a cavernous shed under the shadow of the city’s famous cranes. Mr Bull has been honoured for services to sport and charity. He said: “People were eating their packed lunches with flat caps on their laps and cheering. Every session was like a major competition for me.” The retired athlete from Bangor, Co Down, competed in pole vault and decathlon. He won a record 69 British international caps, gold medals at the 1970 and 1974 Commonwealth Games and silver medals at the 1966 and 1974 Commonwealths
Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/pole-vault-champion-receives-obe-16173238.html#ixzz1xy2oIsyJ
Buffalo, New York –Rick Suhr says he has no use for the spotlight. Can you blame him??In his one big moment on the national stage, he was unfairly vilified for a perceived berating of Jenn Stucyznski after she won a silver medal four years ago in Beijing. People wondered what was the guy’s problem.What they should have been asking was, ‘What’s his secret?’ Continue reading
Fourteen competitors who accounted for 19 state championships have been selected as Central District Track and Field Athletes of the Year by The Dispatch, including Jake Blankenship. Blankenship repeated as state pole-vault champion, topping his year-old state record by an inch with a vault of 17 feet, 2 inches. The Tennessee signee followed up his national outdoor title in 2011 with an indoor title in 2012. more