Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

News about pole vault competitions that occur outside the US and international pole vaulters.
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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:59 am

http://www.wgrz.com/news/local/story.as ... 7&catid=37

Stuczynski Talks About Winning Silver
Posted by: Adam Benigni 13 hrs ago

BEIJING (AP) - Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva got the gold medal and her 24th world record. American silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski got the last word -- for now.

After setting her 24th world record Monday night, Isinbayeva said Stuczynski "made me really angry" with her pre-Olympic remark that she hoped Americans would "kick some Russian butt" in Beijing. "She must respect me and ... know her position," Isinbayeva said. "Now she knows it."

Maybe not.

"I think Yelena talks a lot," Stuczynski said at a Tuesday news conference. "I think she's told what to say so I don't really read anything that she says, that she might come out with."

Stuczynski said her goal "isn't really to catch her." "There are higher bars than that."

To see Scott and Maryalice's interview with Jenn, click on the video player above and to the right.

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:00 am

http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... tml?cat=14

A Look at Yelena Isinbayeva's Triumph in the Pole Vault

By Miroslava Hanna, published Aug 19, 2008

This year's Olympics witnessed great performances from numerous sports figures. Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia is one of them. The opening ceremonies of the games promised something unique and inspirational, provoking athletes to demonstrate their potential.

Isinbayeva is an impressive athlete not only because of the new record of 5.05 meters she set at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games during the pole vault final, but also because she illustrates all the essential qualities a winner must have. The charming athlete astonished the public with her strong motivation to succeed, with her physical and mental strength to overcome the challenges of the sport.

Her brilliant, technical performance gained instant admiration by the spectators who do not stop supporting the Russian athlete at the Olympics. Isinbayeva's specific approach reflects in her sprinting down the runway in such a manner to achieve optimal speed. Her effective take-off position while reaching the pit let people jump on their feet and celebrate the triumph of the Russian champion.

It is clear she wanted to do everything for the crowd, devoting her victory to all the people at the stadium. One of the secrets of her successful performance is her inner peace and strong motivation to succeed. Isinbayeva's smiling, relaxed face during her phenomenal attempt let us admire her ability to concentrate and eliminate the stress at such a big event.

Her determination to break world records demonstrates her immense willingness to progress and improve her performance in pole vaulting, a sport requiring tireless efforts to combine effectively the methods of planting, taking-off and the swing and row methods. Yelena Isinbayeva occupies a deserved high place at the Olympics, conveying the message that great athletes will continue to surprise the world. Her memorable performance will leave traces in people's minds, eager to observe graciousness, strength and charm.

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:10 am

http://post-journal.com/page/content.de ... 09437.html

Silver Lining
Stuczynski Fends Off Pressure, Claims Second Place In Beijing

By Michael Rukavina editorial@post-journal.com
POSTED: August 19, 2008 Save | Print | Email
Article Photos


Fredonia native Jenn Stuczynski earned an Olympic silver medal in the pole vault Monday in Beijing.
AP photo

Hats off to you if you were able to keep from learning of Jenn Stuczynski's performance in Beijing on Monday morning, maybe hoping to watch her compete during a tape-delay broadcast. Word spread like wildfire throughout the community Monday, and it is now safe to say ... silver is this community's favorite color.

With the weight of the country on her shoulders, Stuczynski cleared a vault of 4.80 meters, earning a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Stuczynski instilled and a sense of pride in her community through her accomplishments.

''I talked to my parents right after she won silver and they were extremely happy. My mom said you could tell who Jenn's parents were because they were yelling so much in the crowd. You could hear them screaming and everyone screaming in the background,'' said Terra Grupa, Stuczynski's sister, who held a family get-together at her home early Monday morning.

''We were happy for her just to make the team, and then to come home with a medal is more then what we ever expected. We knew she would get one, but we didn't want to put too much pressure on her.

''She definitely wanted to come home with a medal for the community and to present herself. She did phenomenal and we're very proud of her. We couldn't ask for anything more.''

The Grupa's catered to friends, family and the Channel 4 news crew Monday morning, expecting to maybe watch Jenn live on t.v., but instead were forced to huddle around the computer screen, with their mouse ready on the refresh button.

"We were ecstatic. We were just hoping she would at least medal but if she didn't....that's all she had was four years of training and yet she went to the Olympics. That to us is a real big deal," said Josephine "Joe" Fijal, Jenn's maternal grandparents. "It is amazing. Jenn's a sweet girl. She's just not like some of the others today...when she's home she's just Jenn.

"Her hair goes back in a pony-tail, she and her brother maybe would get into a wrestling match or something, she's just herself and it's one of the things we enjoy the most. And she loves coming home, she's a hometown girl and she'll tell you that herself."

If there is anything what so ever to be disappointed about, it's that Jenn has to wait until today to receive her medal.

"Mark called us and he said, the only disappointment they have is they aren't going to get the medals until Tuesday, and they said they don't have tickets for it because they expected them to get the medals after the event Monday," said Lynne Stuczynski, Jenn's paternal grandmother. "We were very greatful that she got the silver. She's worked so hard for so long. I know she was hoping for the gold, but I know that's going to be down the road. She's happy right now and we're happy for her. And we're always proud of her, medal or no medal. She's a great kid, she really is."

Lynne said the Stuczynski's were trying to find tickets for the award ceremony, via Jenn's agent, after they spoke Monday; a ceremony that would surely be placed under the "priceless" category for any proud parent.

"Just to have Mark and Sue over there is great. When they watch the medal ceremony and the U.S. flag goes up, I just can't imagine the emotion that that has to be for them. It's so exciting," said family friend and Fredonia Olympic Committee member Ann Bartkowiak. "Sue told Terra that many people knew they were Jenny's parents in the stands during the competition and they were all cheering Jenny on. And when she won the Silver Medal all the people sitting around them were congratulating them and they were so happy for them. Sue said it was something."

Back home the Fredonia Olympic Celebration Committee has already been feverishly sending e-mails back and forth, planning the welcome home and congratulation ceremony for Jenn.

"The community will be waiting with open arms to embrace her and show her how proud we are of her performance," said committee member Mike Ferguson. "Now it's time to re-convene and welcome her home! We look forward to seeing her ride down the street waving that Silver Medal!"

"Silver is great, I can't wait to see what one of those looks like up close," added Fredonia mayor Michael Sullivan. "As you know, we went into this with the expectation of celebrating her accomplishments. Gold, silver, bronze or a miss, she still is the American Record holder and has made us all proud. We all look forward to her homecoming celebration."

The Fredonia Olympic Celebration Committee will be meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. inside village hall to continue discussion about a welcome home celebration for Jenn. Preliminary talks include a parade, dinner and fireworks display. The committee is also receiving quotes for a new flag pole in Barker Common, which would have a commemorative plaque at the base dedicated to Jenn.

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:11 am

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/o ... sinbayeva/

How high can Isinbayeva fly?
Story Highlights
Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva won gold and set new world record
Isinbayeva's 16'6¾" is the 24th world record she has set in her career


Yelena Isinbayeva has set 24 world records in pole vault and has won two gold medals.
AP
David Epstein's Mailbag

BEIJING -- Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva had gotten up from what looked like a cat nap to find out that she just won the gold medal in the pole vault.
For most of this humid Monday night in the Bird's Nest, Isinbayeva lay on her back on the infield, a Russia hat pulled snug over her eyes, passing on height after height as most of the world's best vaulters were confounded and eliminated. On just her second attempt of the night, Isinbayeva cleared 15'11". Then she waited.
With cameras in her face, and only America's Jenn Stuczynski left to compete for gold, Isinbayeva retreated under a blanket she'd brought from the Olympic Village for this very thing -- the down time when someone tried to challenge her. While Stuczynski took three unsuccessful attempts at 16'1", Isinbayeva would, now and again, lift the corner of her blanket to unveil one eye and find out what those 90,000 people outside were getting so worked up about.
When Stuczynski missed on her third try, Isinbayeva became the gold medalist. She smiled, she waved, she blew a ridiculous number of kisses. And then she got ready to compete. Off came the nylon pants, the jacket, the hat and the blanket. On went the turquoise shoes Adidas custom designed with a dolphin -- her favorite animal -- on the heel.
As usual, it was Yelena vs. Yelena's world record. And, as usual, the crowd stood at rapt attention, the collective emotions in the Bird's Nest swaying with the champ's every move.
On this particular night, Isinbayeva, who is one of the most popular athletes in Europe, had a little extra motivation beyond Olympic gold (been there, in Athens) and a new world record (done that, 13 times indoors and 10 times outdoors). In anticipation of the Olympics, Stuczynski, a pole vault neophyte -- she started in 2004 -- got rightfully excited at the U.S. Trials, where she set an American record of 16'1¾" and subsequently told reporters she was ready to go to China and "kick some Russian butt." Bad idea. Bad as in, as Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto put it, waking a sleeping giant and filling her with a terrible resolve.
On her third attempt at 16'6¾," Isinbayeva set the 24th world record of her career. As she plummeted through the air toward the mat, her face exploded in ecstasy. Her arms flew outward in triumph. "I felt I had the whole stadium to myself," she said later, "like I was an actress on stage." She punctuated the crowd's deafening roar with an impromptu front flip. Another gold, another record, and a serious message to her closest rival -- who isn't even close.
"It wasn't nice," said the usually bubbly Isinbayeva of Stuczynski's "Russian butt" remark. "First of all, she must respect me. And she must know her position." Pause. "Now she knows it."
And for now, that position is about five inches below the most dominant athlete in the world. With Isinbayeva's rivals so far in the rear view mirror, a more interesting question than who can challenge her, at the moment, is: How did she get so high?
She's strong: She weighs around 140 pounds and can bench press at least 155. But there are other strong pole vaulters. She's fairly tall: she hovers around 5-foot-9. But other vaulters are taller, like Stuczynski, who is 6 feet. She's relatively fast, but there are vaulters just as swift. So how is it that, since '04, she has won all seven major championships -- three indoor and two outdoor World Championships, and the gold medal at the Athens and Beijing Olympics -- and has vaulted nearly half a foot higher than any other woman ever has?
When asked, Isinbayeva's coach, Vitaly Petrov, who also coached Soviet pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, starts by staring at the ground. He's trying to find a satisfactory answer that will translate in his amiable but limited English. After about a minute, Petrov settles on a single word and raises his head to deliver. "Harmony," he says.
There is no one particularly superhuman quality that sets Isinbayeva apart. Rather, it is the fluidity with which she executes a vault from start to finish, a coordination born from the gymnastics she practiced back in her hometown of Volgograd, before she got too tall at 15 and her coach shuffled her off to pole vault, an activity she knew nothing about, but has since defined.
Isinbayeva's plant, her take off, her body swing, her push off the pole, the jackknifing of her torso as it contorts to avoid the bar like a hot oven -- they occur in such harmonic succession that one can imagine that she's being lifted by a passing ocean swell and deposited over the bar. And right now, she is utterly peerless in her execution.
As women's pole vaulting develops, though -- it only became widespread in the mid-1990s -- more gifted athletes will join in, drawn by what has become one of the bigger money events in women's track and field. More competitors like Stuczynski, who is tall and strong and fearless and set the school basketball scoring record at NAIA Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y. But without that vaulting harmony, Isinbayeva will continue to inform them of their positions.
So the only question the event leaves is: How high can Isinbayeva go? "Vitaly thinks [16'11" or 17']," Isinbayeva says. "And I trust him completely."

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:13 am

http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/417960.html

Fredonia's Jenn Stuczynski finds the silver lining in Beijing

By Jerry Sullivan
Updated: 08/19/08 10:20 AM


BEIJING — Jenn Stuczynski responded to the big stage. The Fredonia pole vaulter won an Olympic silver medal Monday night. She made the big jump she needed, a vault of 4.8 meters (15 feet, 9 inches).

The great Russian champion Yelena Isinbayeva took the gold, jumping 5.05 meters (16 feet, 7 inches) to set the world mark.

“I felt really good,” Stuczynski said soon after the event. She was drug-tested later and did not take part in the official press conference. “I started off a little sluggish, and it took me awhile to get in the rhythm, but once I did, I was able to come through. But at the end, I was starting to lose my legs a little bit.

“It was definitely exciting tonight, beyond words,” she said. “To go to your first Olympics and get a medal — a silver medal nonetheless — was great. I couldn’t ask for any more.”

Stuczynski believed she could beat Isinbayeva. It had to be a relief to know that it wasn’t close, and that one vault would not have made the difference between silver and gold. The one thing she needs is more time.

“I think it’s going to take more experience,” she said. “In ’04, I was a 12-foot pole vaulter, not even. So for me to come four years later and compete, it’s just experience. [Isinbayeva] has been in the Olympics before. She’s been in world championships. She’s jumped a decade longer than me.

“So it’s just a matter of time. I’m going to keep working at it and see where it gets me.”

In the end, the only one who could compete with Isinbayeva, the one athlete who could drive her to new heights, was herself. When it mattered, she reduced the talk of a rivalry to mere hype, winning her second straight Olympic gold medal while barely breaking a sweat.

Watch the competition by clicking here.

Stuczynski made her silver-clinching jump with two Russian competitors — Svetlana Feofanova and Yulia Golubchikova — breathing down her neck. But she had nothing left after that. Her legs were gone and she went out at 4.9 meters. Stuczynski even got a fourth try at the height, after the judges mistakenly limited her to two minutes between vaults, instead of the three allowable. Still, she was done.

It’s hard to imagine her ever being as self-absorbed a champ as Isinbayeva, who spent much of the night with her head in a towel, hiding her face from cameras she knew were following her every move.

As she prepared to go down the runway for a shot at her world record, Isinbayeva held her hands over her hand, grasping the pole, and led the crowd in a rhythmic hand clap. She wasn’t competing for a medal now, but for sports history and theater, to be adored by the masses.

“Honestly, I love it so much,” Isinbayeva said. “Because in that moment, I feel myself like an actress. I’m there on the track and everyone is for me. That is my crowd. They cheer for me. I felt that they wanted to see something great.”

Stuczynski was better off not being at the press conference. Isinbayeva made it clear that she didn’t like some of Stuczynski’s comments in recent months. Actually, Jenn didn’t say anything more incendiary than she wanted to “kick some Russian butt.”

“I can read interviews,” Isinbayeva said. “It makes me really angry. How is she supposed to talk that way about me? She didn’t beat my any times. She is talking too much. I prefer doing it and then talking. I just wanted to prove who is the best in the Olympic Games.”

It can’t have been easy for Stuczynski to play the foil to Isinbayeva, a cocky and charismatic athlete with the competitive instincts of a viper. She was a little over her head, but it should be good for her in the long run. They’re both 26. The Russian isn’t going anywhere. But Jenn might have more upside.

“We’re thrilled, absolutely thrilled,” Julie Essek of the Fredonia Olympic Celebration Committee told The Buffalo News. “We’re very proud of our hometown girl and her family.”

Essek said the committee is planning to erect a monument in downtown Fredonia’s Barker Commons to honor Stuczynski, along with a silver flag pole featuring flags of the United States and the Olympics.

Stuczynski has seen the standard. She has seen Isinbayeva at the end of her game and heard the Russian trash her afterwards. She will not be lacking for motivation now. Her coach, Rick Suhr, should get a copy of Isinbayeva playing to the crowd Monday night and play it over and over for Jenn.

Some day, maybe she’ll thank Isinbayeva for raising the profile of women’s pole vaulting and giving her a standard to shoot at. Isinbayeva wanted someone to push her. Down the road, Stuczynski will realize it was the Russian pulling her, eager for company at the top.

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby lonestar » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:20 am

http://www.salon.com/sports/olympics/20 ... index.html

Paulie Walnuts has been located!
By Gary Kamiya
Paulie Walnuts has been located! You may have thought that the scary, anxiety-attack-prone mobster had disappeared forever when "The Sopranos" went off the air. But he showed up last night in Beijing, cleverly disguised as U.S. pole vaulter Jennifer Stuczynski's coach, Rick Suhr. And after his cameo appearance last night on NBC's prime-time broadcast, it ain't just the FBI who's going to be gunning for Walnuts, I mean Suhr. Suhr's post-meet chat with Stuczynski may represent the most unempathetic debriefing since Achilles stripped Hector naked and dragged him around the walls of Troy.

Suhr's post-meet chat with Stuczynski may represent the most unempathetic debriefing since Achilles stripped Hector naked and dragged him around the walls of Troy.
All Stuczynski had done was win the silver medal against one of the greatest and most dominant female athletes in the world, Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva. NBC barely showed the pole vault competition at all, which was a bummer, since the final in Athens was one of the greatest track and field showdowns I've ever seen. If it hadn't been for Isinbayeva, you wonder if they would even have given it as much play as they did. Recognizing a babalicious Slavic long-stick-wielder when they see one, NBC gave the glamour-puss Isinbayeva a few minutes of soft-feature time, during which she basically said, "Hollywood, come get my hot Russian a**!" Anyway, Isinbayeva won the gold for the second Olympics in a row, and set another world record, which she can apparently do at will. No one is even in her league. Which means that if you're a woman pole vaulter, winning silver is the most you can realistically hope to do.

So you'd think that Suhr would have had a few celebratory words for his charge, a pat on the back, a little smooch. But no.

The camera focused in on Suhr, in the stands, lecturing Stuczynski, who was a few feet away on the track. As we roll the transcript, visualize a kind of meat-faced, Dan White-looking guy with a New Yawk accent who never smiles.

"It's the same old same old. You're losing takeoff at the big heights. What are you gonna do? You gotta learn to keep takeoff. You got caught at that meat grinder. I did not -- and I told 10 people -- I did not want to be caught in that meat grinder between 65 and 80. You had to though. You weren't on, you know, your warmups didn't go well, you went 55, you got caught up in that meat grinder. What are you gonna do. [shrugs] What are you gonna do. [looks off to the side] You didn't have the legs. Her legs are fresh. Hey, it's a silver medal though. Not bad for someone who's been pole vaulting for four years." [No smile. Looks down at his BlackBerry. Stuczynski walks away.]

Ah yes, that venerable "beatings will continue until morale improves" school of communication. But what are you gonna do.

Suhr, a former champion wrestler (why is that not surprising?) discovered Stuczynski and turned her into a star, and his pole vaulters have won 11 national championships, so he obviously knows what he's doing. What are you gonna do. And anyone who's played competitive sports has probably had a coach like Suhr, a hard-ass who doesn't do nice -- and whose method turns out winners. What are you gonna do. And later, we heard Stuczynski saying she wanted to go celebrate with her family and coach, so either their relationship isn't that bad or she's suffering from Stockholm syndrome. What are you gonna do.

But still, if I were Suhr, I'd avoid certain parts of New Jersey. There are some guys there who are looking for Paulie Walnuts, and the resemblance is just a little too strong. And if somebody whacks him by mistake, you just know what he's going to say as he lugs the body down to Satriale's Pork Store for disposal.

You got caught in that meat grinder. What are you gonna do.

― Gary Kamiya
Posted in: Track and Field, Gary Kamiya

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby OUvaulterUSAF » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:43 pm

I had a coach similar to suhr in my 5 years of college. I burnt out after 3 years. I just hope Jenn doesn't burn out because she's got so much potential. Although, over the years Jenn has probably toughened up enough to be use to it and that's what might work for her. It's just unfortunate it was captured on national television.

In the Air Force we gave feedback in what we called a poo sandwich. You have the bread the poo then the bread again, meaning you start with the good, then the bad and end on a good note. Another saying was praise in public, punish in private.
wo xi huan cheng gan tiao.

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby ~jj~ » Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:04 pm

In my opinion Jenn did great! Hell, 15'9 under less than ideal international conditions is as good or better than 16'1 under perfect domestic conditions. Its a tough thing to chase ledgends, ask Gatullin and Tarasov.
Congradulations and a pat on the back are in order.
Gentelmen, the last time i checked its that athlete who does the jumping, not the coach :dazed:

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby BruceFlorman » Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:33 am

From AllSport.ru yesterday...
11:34 19.08.2008 - Athletics - Olympic Athletics Tournament
Vitaly Petrov: I don’t see Isinbaeva as just a slave to sport, and I will be sincerely glad if she marries and has children

Yesterday, August 18th, Russia’s Yelena Isinbaeva became a double Olympic champion after winning the Olympic pole vault tournament in Beijing with a new world record of 5.05 m. Several hours after her brilliant victory Vitaly Petrov, Yelena Isinbaeva’s personal coach, took time out from the celebratory dinner at the Russian Bosco Club to answer questions from the special correspondent of the Agency of Sport Information "All Sport".

- Congratulations Vitaly Afanasevich! Lena has already shared her emotions and impressions in detail. But what does this victory and this record mean to you?
- Personally there is a lot of prestige in all this. And again the "20 years since Sergey Bubka" magic worked. In 1983 Sergey won the first World Championships in Athletics – both his first and history’s. And 20 years later, in 2003 my Italian Giuseppe Gibilisco became world champion. In 1986, Sergey won the first European Championship. After 20 years, in 2006, Lena won the European championship for the first time. In 1988, Sergey became the Olympic champion. Now, in 2008, again 20 years later, Lena won the Olympics with me. I’m glad that over 20 years I haven’t merely kept afloat, but have worked at the very highest level, helping athletes to do their jobs well. And in Beijing it’s become a pole vault holiday for athletics. And I’m pleased and happy to be working with someone like Lena, to whom I can present my principles and methodology, and who grasps and implements them. And moreover, implements them superbly.

- At the height of 4.95 m, and already at the level of Olympic champion, Lena had barely needed her first two attempts. What words did you find to make her not only jump 4.95, but then set a world record at 5.05?
- In such situations, mere words no longer help. Lena needed to somehow light up again and get back into the fight. Not a fight for victory - she had already won - but a fight for the record. Understand what was involved. Just victory would have been… just another victory. But victory at the Olympics with a world record is a different matter; an historic moment. Therefore, I tried to put some pedagogical overtones into everything – my gestures and facial expressions... The most important thing wasn’t making a correct technical decision - for example, exactly how to do her takeoff - but her psychological attitude. Thus I acted like a teacher. Before me stood this great person, and I had to "snap" her into it - into this moment, into this state. And in this way I was able to draw Lena back into the fight.

- But did you indeed say something concrete?
- I simply said: Lena, today cannot get away without a record. Well, then I explained: your attitude, whatever you want, you can do. Now just go and set a record. But earlier in the day, while the competition went on, we discussed everything and arrived at this exact overall conclusion: we had to set a record. Rivalry for the victory didn’t influence our objective. Regardless of how high the American girl Stuczynski is jumping now, she is not suited to fight for victory in the Olympic Games.

- Not suited in principle or not suited yet?
- About the future I cannot know – how everything will be; how it will all turn out. Maybe Lena will regress, maybe Stuczynski will improve. I don’t even want to talk about the future now! Let’s celebrate the victory, and we’ll discuss the future later. Now it’s a big, bright holiday. Considering the situation when Lena first came to me, you can say: today she was reborn. We celebrate Yelena Isinbaeva’s birthday! In this case, in the grand scheme, she hasn’t yet begun to realize her potential with this result. I’m still just waiting for this realization. I think over the next two years she’ll be able to realize a potential of 5.15 – 5.20 m. Not just jumping such heights occasionally, but jumping them routinely. But for this, of course, it’s necessary to constantly work hard, day after day.

- But what general incentives can Isinbaeva have as a double Olympic champion, and already a 24-time world record breaker? What will you determine to be her next goal? Not long-term - to jump 5.20 in two years. But in the near-term, what will motivate her to engage in hard, serious work after this victory?
- Champions - if they are really champions – have the drive instilled in their nature. Sergey Bubka had it. I didn’t give him any incentives; he searched for and found them himself. So has Lena. I haven’t given her any incentives either. To stand firm, to prove - these people simply can’t live without victories. Victory in the Olympic Games, in the World and European championships, in the other tournaments. But if a good irritant happens to come along… (smiles) Take when everyone was saying: Stuczynski, Stuczynski… But this was pure happiness for me! Because I knew: now, at the first opportunity, Lena would show this Stuczynski just who she is.

- Can you now speculate how high Lena will jump to win the Olympic Games of 2012 in London?
- London is still a long ways off. Four years is a long time in sports. Although in pole vaulting, it’s not as easy for someone to just spring out of nowhere in a year or two, as it is in the sprint, distance, throwing and other physiological events. The structure of our event can’t change in this time. Lena is absolutely right in saying that so far she sees no rival. This is simply a statement of fact rather than bravado. But she also must not see any distractions or diversions if she is to stay in the sport and put enough into it to win in London. Maybe Lena will win with 5.15, maybe with 5.20. For now I can only promise that in London-2012 she’ll be prepared to jump 5.20.

- By the way, regarding distractions and diversions… Remember how you criticized Isinbaeva just prior to the tournament in Rome, where she set a world record? In particular, that she insisted on holding one of her training camps in Donetsk? Now, after her victory, Lena acknowledged that she’s in love, and her young man Artem lives in Donetsk.
- Op-pa! I didn’t know about this. Lena said nothing about it to me. But if she told journalists today, then she felt it necessary and important.

- And if she were to say more – that she wanted to marry, wanted to become a mother?
- I am a professional. And Lena and I have a contract: if she decides to leave or if I decide to quit, we must give the other three months warning. We’re not obligated to each other for life. We’re working together to help each other grow, develop and achieve professional victories. I will be sincerely glad if Lena gets married and has children. I don’t see her as just a slave to sport. She is a clever and interesting person with a strong personality. Of course I wish that Lena be bright, beautiful and happy, not only in her athletic life, but her personal life as well.

I doubt that I really played any role whatsoever, but the moment I found out about Jenn's 4.90 at Reebok, I fired off an email to Andrey Mitkov at All Sport, informing him and suggesting that he contact Isi to get her comment. I'm quite sure it would've occurred to him anyway as soon as he got the word, so at most I accelerated the process by a couple of hours. Nevertheless, I’m gratified that it put a burr under her saddle like it did. That’s exactly what I was hoping for. :yes: I’m less pleased about the catty comments that have gone back and forth, but… what’re ya gonna do? (shrug) :D

Now some folks may feel that I’m some sort of traitor, but I genuinely bear no malice toward Jenn and would dearly like to see her become a worthy challenger for Lena – someone who can actually beat her from time to time, even when she’s not having a particularly bad day. That doesn’t mean I won’t be rooting for Lena on those days, but I’d rather see her go 8-4 in a series of titanic clashes, than see her go 12-0 year after year with nobody else within shouting distance.

I do hope Lena gets her 36th world record someday, but I truly don’t want her to just be the female Bubka. As great as Bubka was, I personally believe the greatest champions are defined in part by their challengers. Mohammad Ali wouldn’t have been “The Greatest” without Smokin’ Joe Frazier. And if Jenn goes on to become the Smokin’ Joe Frazier of the women’s pole vault, there’s absolutely no shame in that. But who knows? Maybe Isi will turn out to be the Sonny Liston of the women’s pole vault – considered unbeatable right up until she’s beaten. We’ll just have to wait and see. But no matter how big a fan you are, you can only watch the Globetrotters beat up on the Washington Generals so many times before it starts to get old.

Okay… I suppose I’ve mixed enough sports metaphors for one night. I’m off to bed now. :confused:

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby roger/over » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:32 pm

Thanks to lonestar for posting the entire text of Suhr castigating Jenn for making her coach look bad by only finishing second in the Olympic Games. Even the text doesn't tell it all, though. If you don't see and hear the episode, you can't appreciate how surhly his manner was.

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What are you gonna do?

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:14 pm

lonestar wrote:"It's the same old same old. You're losing takeoff at the big heights. What are you gonna do? You gotta learn to keep takeoff. You got caught at that meat grinder. I did not -- and I told 10 people -- I did not want to be caught in that meat grinder between 65 and 80. You had to though. You weren't on, you know, your warmups didn't go well, you went 55, you got caught up in that meat grinder. What are you gonna do. [shrugs] What are you gonna do. [looks off to the side] You didn't have the legs. Her legs are fresh. Hey, it's a silver medal though. Not bad for someone who's been pole vaulting for four years." [No smile. Looks down at his BlackBerry. Stuczynski walks away.]

... You got caught in that meat grinder. What are you gonna do.

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Posted in: Track and Field, Gary Kamiya


The Rick Suhr / Jenn Stuczynski PV Silver Medal "pep talk" story has now hit the http://www.nbcolympics.com home page, in the "Get in the Games" frame.

It shows the full video of the coach/athlete dialogue, plus several comments from viewers. I guess you "Get in the Games" by commenting on the videos that are shown.

In case it disappears from the main page, here's a shortcut to it: http://www.nbcolympics.com/getinthegame ... cross+line
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

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Re: Olympic Women's Finals - Isi 5.05 WR, Stuczynski 4.80

Unread postby CowtownPV » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:52 pm

There are many different coaching styles out there and just because one is different from yours doesn't make it wrong. Rick has coached a girl over 16' in less than 4 years and everbody is ready to condemn him for not being nice. He was disappointed maybe even mad that she did not do her best. When I was an athlete and did not preform as well as I should have, I expected my mom to say "thats ok you tried hard" but not my coach. Would it have made Jenn feel better had he told her she did great when she knew she didn't. Maybe the reason she likes him as a coach is because he always challenges her to do better. His style may not fit all athletes or work for all coaches, myself included, but I certainly think he has done something that no one else has done in America so maybe we should give him the benefit of doubt.
Winners find a way to win, losers find an excuse.


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