Here is a look at the “absolute” world record progression since 1960.
Last night Bear and I stayed up to watch the Men’s Pole Vaulting event, where Brazil’s Thiago Braz da Silva and France’s Renaud Lavillenie battled it out in a terrific competition. Lavillenie is the current world record holder, which got me to wondering what the progression of record-breaking vaults would look like over time. So, here is a simple thing, made this morning, to solve that curiositousness.
I liked pole vaulting in high school. I was too wild to do it well, but I still get sweaty palms when I watch the pros.
When my dad was a boy, he loved the sport of pole vaulting. His time was right at the end of the “straight pole” era, before advances in fiberglass allowed for spring-loaded techniques. He considers that the purer form of the sport. His mom, for worry that he would get injured, wouldn’t let him go out for the track team. So Burt set up a pole vaulting pit in the back yard and used a carpet tube as his pole.
I like pole vaulting because he liked pole vaulting. And he let me try it out. I think a lot of what interests and motivates me starts as a seed of trying to understand someone I love and admire. Then, sometimes, that motivation becomes my own.
It’s the same with maps, when I think about it.
3 thoughts on “Men’s Pole Vaulting World Record Progression”
If you were wondering why Bubka seemed to only be able to break his a record a little bit at a time, it was because he was a great economist. Nike paid him a bonus every time he broke the record, and since he wasn’t making MJ money from Nike it made the most sense to barely break it and stop competing in an individual event. More info on this here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/the-balls-of-wrath/2015/feb/16/strange-evolution-pole-vault-world-record-bubka-lavillenie
I had always heard it was the Soviets that gave him a bonus for breaking the record, so he maximized the frequency. Maybe Nike stepped in when they ran out of money. Either way, he’s my kind of economist. Specifically, the sort that flings themselves over great heights with a fiberglass pole.