Louisiana Native Wins Coveted Gold in Tokyo, Just Not for America
In case you weren't aware, the Olympics is happening in Tokyo right now! With the closing ceremonies approaching (this Sunday), you're going to see a lot of big announcements this week as all of the competitions are coming to an end.
The United States has been doing awesome, by the way. Even though China has taken the lead in gold medals with 32 compared with our 24 - we do lead the world in total medal count with 73 shiny necklaces. In fact, a Louisiana native just took the gold medal for the pole vault - which is no easy task. So, does the medal count go up by one in the "gold" category? According to a report from WBRZ, yes - but not for us.
Armond "Mondo" Duplantis is a world renowned pole vaulter, and he hails from Lafayette, Louisiana. Unfortunately for Team USA - he competes for Team Sweden. That means when Mondo cleared the bar set at 6.02 meters, this man from the Sportsman's paradise gave the Swedes their 2nd (and most likely, final) gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics.
Why Isn't He Competing for Us?
So, why is one of our own leaping for a country he doesn't call home? The answer is simple: He isn't. You see, Duplantis comes from a long-line of amazing Swedish athletes. His father, Cajun-born Greg Duplantis, was also an amazing pole vaulter. His Swedish mother Helena is a former heptathlete (that's 7 Track and field events rolled into one) and volleyball player. Mondo was basically destined to be a world-class athlete, and because of his dual-citizenship status (thanks to his mother) he could choose which country to represent in the Olympic games.
Despite being the current world champion and arguably the best vaulter in the world, the reason he choose Sweden is because of the ultra-tough competition he would have to face vying for a spot on the U.S. team. Instead of having to place in the top 3 at Olympic qualifying events here (where a bad day could cost you a spot on the team), he opted forgo all of that worry. With the pool of qualified vaulters in Sweden being so very small - Duplantis was able to "walk on" to the team. With his track record, and the Swedes chances for Olympic glory so slim - they were happy to have him.
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