Pole vault
at the Olympic Games
The 1904 pole vault competition
Overview
SportAthletics
GenderMen and women
Years heldMen: 18962016
Women: 20002016
Olympic record
Men6.03 m Thiago Braz da Silva (2016)
Women5.05 m Yelena Isinbayeva (2008)
Reigning champion
Men Armand Duplantis (SWE)
Women Katie Nageotte (USA)

The pole vault at the Summer Olympics is grouped among the four track and field jumping events held at the multi-sport event. The men's pole vault has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since the first Summer Olympics in 1896. The women's event is one of the latest additions to the programme, first being contested at the 2000 Summer Olympics – along with the addition of the hammer throw, this brought the women's field event programme to parity with the men's.

The Olympic records for the event are 6.03 m (19 ft 9+14 in) for men, set by Thiago Braz da Silva in 2016, and 5.05 m (16 ft 6+34 in) for women, set by Yelena Isinbayeva in 2008. Isinbayeva's 2008 mark was a world record at the time and her 2004 victory in 4.91 m (16 ft 1+14 in) had been the first women's world record in the pole vault to be set at the Olympics. In spite of its longer history, the men's Olympic event has only seen two world record marks – a clearance of 4.09 m (13 ft 5 in) by Frank Foss at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and Władysław Kozakiewicz's vault of 5.78 m (18 ft 11+12 in) to win at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.[1]

William Hoyt was the first Olympic champion in 1896 and Stacy Dragila became the first female Olympic pole vault champion over 100 years later in 2000. Armand Duplantis and Katie Nageotte are the reigning Olympic champions from 2021. Yelena Isinbayeva and Bob Richards are the only two athletes to win two Olympic pole vault titles, and also the only two athletes to win more than two Olympic medals in the discipline. The United States is the most successful nation in the event.

Medalists

Men

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
details
William Hoyt
 United States
Albert Tyler
 United States
Evangelos Damaskos
 Greece
Ioannis Theodoropoulos
 Greece
1900 Paris
details
Irving Baxter
 United States
Meredith Colket
 United States
Carl Albert Andersen
 Norway
1904 St. Louis
details
Charles Dvorak
 United States
LeRoy Samse
 United States
Louis Wilkins
 United States
1908 London
details
Edward Cook
 United States
none awarded Edward Archibald
 Canada
Clare Jacobs
 United States
Alfred Gilbert
 United States
Bruno Söderström
 Sweden
1912 Stockholm
details
Harry Babcock
 United States
Frank Nelson
 United States
William Halpenny
 Canada
Frank Murphy
 United States
Marc Wright
 United States
Bertil Uggla
 Sweden
1920 Antwerp
details
Frank Foss
 United States
Henry Petersen
 Denmark
Edwin Myers
 United States
1924 Paris
details
Lee Barnes
 United States
Glen Graham
 United States
James Brooker
 United States
1928 Amsterdam
details
Sabin Carr
 United States
William Droegemueller
 United States
Charles McGinnis
 United States
1932 Los Angeles
details
Bill Miller
 United States
Shuhei Nishida
 Japan
George Jefferson
 United States
1936 Berlin
details
Earle Meadows
 United States
Shuhei Nishida
 Japan
Sueo Ōe
 Japan
1948 London
details
Guinn Smith
 United States
Erkki Kataja
 Finland
Bob Richards
 United States
1952 Helsinki
details
Bob Richards
 United States
Don Laz
 United States
Ragnar Lundberg
 Sweden
1956 Melbourne
details
Bob Richards
 United States
Bob Gutowski
 United States
Georgios Roubanis
 Greece
1960 Rome
details
Don Bragg
 United States
Ron Morris
 United States
Eeles Landström
 Finland
1964 Tokyo
details
Fred Hansen
 United States
Wolfgang Reinhardt
 United Team of Germany
Klaus Lehnertz
 United Team of Germany
1968 Mexico City
details
Bob Seagren
 United States
Claus Schiprowski
 West Germany
Wolfgang Nordwig
 East Germany
1972 Munich
details
Wolfgang Nordwig
 East Germany
Bob Seagren
 United States
Jan Johnson
 United States
1976 Montreal
details
Tadeusz Ślusarski
 Poland
Antti Kalliomäki
 Finland
David Roberts
 United States
1980 Moscow
details
Władysław Kozakiewicz
 Poland
Tadeusz Ślusarski
 Poland
none awarded
Konstantin Volkov
 Soviet Union
1984 Los Angeles
details
Pierre Quinon
 France
Mike Tully
 United States
Earl Bell
 United States
Thierry Vigneron
 France
1988 Seoul
details
Sergey Bubka
 Soviet Union
Radion Gataullin
 Soviet Union
Grigoriy Yegorov
 Soviet Union
1992 Barcelona
details
Maksim Tarasov
 Unified Team
Igor Trandenkov
 Unified Team
Javier García
 Spain
1996 Atlanta
details
Jean Galfione
 France
Igor Trandenkov
 Russia
Andrei Tivontchik
 Germany
2000 Sydney
details
Nick Hysong
 United States
Lawrence Johnson
 United States
Maksim Tarasov
 Russia
2004 Athens
details
Timothy Mack
 United States
Toby Stevenson
 United States
Giuseppe Gibilisco
 Italy
2008 Beijing
details
Steve Hooker
 Australia
Yevgeny Lukyanenko
 Russia
Derek Miles
 United States
2012 London
details
Renaud Lavillenie
 France
Björn Otto
 Germany
Raphael Holzdeppe
 Germany
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Thiago Braz
 Brazil
Renaud Lavillenie
 France
Sam Kendricks
 United States
2020 Tokyo
details
Armand Duplantis
 Sweden
Chris Nilsen
 United States
Thiago Braz
 Brazil

Multiple medalists

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Bob Richards  United States (USA) 1948–1956 2 0 1 3
2 Bob Seagren  United States (USA) 1968–1972 1 1 0 2
Tadeusz Ślusarski  Poland (POL) 1976–1980 1 1 0 2
Renaud Lavillenie  France (FRA) 2012–2016 1 1 0 2
5 Wolfgang Nordwig  East Germany (GDR) 1968–1972 1 0 1 2
Maksim Tarasov  Russia (RUS)
 Unified Team (EUN)
1992–2000 1 0 1 2
Thiago Braz  Brazil (BRA) 2016–2020 1 0 1 2
7 Shuhei Nishida  Japan (JPN) 1932–1936 0 2 0 2
Igor Trandenkov  Russia (RUS)
 Unified Team (EUN)
1992–1996 0 2 0 2

Medalists by country

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 19 15 13 47
2  France (FRA) 3 1 1 5
3  Poland (POL) 2 1 0 3
4  Soviet Union (URS) 1 2 1 4
5  Unified Team (EUN) 1 1 0 2
6  East Germany (GDR) 1 0 1 2
7  Australia (AUS) 1 0 0 1
 Brazil (BRA) 1 0 1 2
9  Germany (GER)[nb] 0 2 3 5
10  Finland (FIN) 0 2 1 3
 Japan (JPN) 0 2 1 3
 Russia (RUS) 0 2 1 3
13  Denmark (DEN) 0 1 0 1
 West Germany (FRG) 0 1 0 1
15  Greece (GRE) 0 0 3 3
 Sweden (SWE) 1 0 3 4
17  Canada (CAN) 0 0 2 2
18  Spain (ESP) 0 0 1 1
 Italy (ITA) 0 0 1 1
 Norway (NOR) 0 0 1 1

Women

Games Gold Silver Bronze
2000 Sydney
details
Stacy Dragila
 United States
Tatiana Grigorieva
 Australia
Vala Flosadóttir
 Iceland
2004 Athens
details
Yelena Isinbayeva
 Russia
Svetlana Feofanova
 Russia
Anna Rogowska
 Poland
2008 Beijing
details
Yelena Isinbayeva
 Russia
Jennifer Stuczynski
 United States
Svetlana Feofanova
 Russia
2012 London
details
Jennifer Suhr
 United States
Yarisley Silva
 Cuba
Yelena Isinbayeva
 Russia
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Katerina Stefanidi
 Greece
Sandi Morris
 United States
Eliza McCartney
 New Zealand
2020 Tokyo
details
Katie Nageotte
 United States
Anzhelika Sidorova
 ROC
Holly Bradshaw
 Great Britain

Multiple medalists

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Yelena Isinbayeva  Russia (RUS) 2004–2012 2 0 1 3
2 Jennifer Suhr  United States (USA) 2008–2012 1 1 0 2
3 Svetlana Feofanova  Russia (RUS) 2004–2008 0 1 1 2

Medalists by country

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 2 2 0 4
2  Russia (RUS) 2 1 2 5
3  Greece (GRE) 1 0 0 1
4  Australia (AUS) 0 1 0 1
 Cuba (CUB) 0 1 0 1
6  Iceland (ISL) 0 0 1 1
 New Zealand (NZL) 0 0 1 1
 Poland (POL) 0 0 1 1

Intercalated Games

The 1906 Intercalated Games were held in Athens and at the time were officially recognised as part of the Olympic Games series, with the intention being to hold a games in Greece in two-year intervals between the internationally held Olympics. However, this plan never came to fruition and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided not to recognise these games as part of the official Olympic series. Some sports historians continue to treat the results of these games as part of the Olympic canon.[2]

Continuing its presence since the first Olympics, a men's pole vault event was contested at the 1906 Games. France's Fernand Gonder entered as the world record holder and delivered by winning in an Olympic record-equalling mark.[3] The runner-up, Bruno Söderström of Sweden, also won a javelin throw medal that year.[4] Ed Glover, the American champion, was the bronze medallist.[3]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1906 Athens
details
 Fernand Gonder (FRA)  Bruno Söderström (SWE)  Ed Glover (USA)

Non-canonical Olympic events

In addition to the main 1900 Olympic men's pole vault, a handicap competition was held four days later. The joint fourth-place finishers in the main event took the top two spots, with Jakab Kauser posting a mark of 3.45 m with a handicap of 45 cm, and Eric Lemming coming second with his result of 3.40 m with a 30 cm handicap. Meredith Colket, the silver medallist in the main event registered 3.20 m with a handicap of 15 cm.[5][6] Two further non-handicap "scratch" competitions were held that are no longer considered canon Olympic events: the American champion Bascom Johnson won an event on 16 July,[7] then three days later Daniel Horton (a triple jump competitor) defeated Charles Dvorak in a consolation event – both had missed the final proper as it was held on the Sabbath. Dvorak went on to win the Olympic pole vault gold in 1904.[8][9]

The handicap event returned at the 1904 Summer Olympics. LeRoy Samse, the runner-up in the main Olympic pole vault, won with 3.58 m and a handicap of one inch. Walter Dray, sixth in the Olympic event, came second with 3.58 m and a ten-inch handicap, while Olympic fifth placer Claude Allen recorded 3.55 m off a seven-inch handicap.[5]

These events are no longer considered part of the official Olympic history of the pole vault or the athletics programme in general. Consequently, medals from these competitions have not been assigned to nations on the all-time medal tables.[5]

References

Participation and athlete data
Olympic record progressions
Specific
  1. ^ 12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook Berlin 2009 (pgs. 546, 645). IAAF (2009). Retrieved on 3 May 2014.
  2. ^ 1906 Athina Summer Games. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 26 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games: Men's Pole Vault. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 3 May 2014.
  4. ^ Bruno Söderström. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 19 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Handicap Olympic Athletics Events. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 18 April 2014.
  6. ^ Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's Pole Vault, Handicap. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's Special Scratch Pole Vault #1. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games: Men's Special Scratch Pole Vault #2. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 5 May 2014.
  9. ^ Charles Dvorak. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 5 May 2014.