Former LSU track and field star Mondo Duplantis won gold at the Tokyo Olympics in pole vaulting, his family’s signature event.
Duplantis is competing for Sweden in these Olympic games—his mother’s home country—not the United States unfortunately. Mondo didn’t quite break the world record, that he set, of 6.19 meters but won easily by clearing a height of 6.02 meters (19’9”).
“In a way I really enjoyed this experience, but damn I’m glad it’s over,” Duplantis said. “Coming in as the huge favorite where everybody puts the pressure on you to win it’s just like: ‘Ah I can just chill now.’ I can just chill, and I can just enjoy the moment because I did it. I did it. I am the Olympic champion now.”
Mondo is the eighth LSU track and field athlete to win a medal. He’s only the second former Tiger to win an individual medal joining Glenn Hardin who won gold in the 400 meter hurdles in 1936. And who among us can forget where they were when Glen Hardin claimed gold?
Antoine Duplantis, Mondo’s older brother and former LSU baseball player, gave props to his little brother.
“Watching him win the gold medal was an amazing experience,” Antoine Duplantis told The New York Post (Antoine plays for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the New York Mets’ High-A affiliate). “It’s really cool to watch him do exactly what he always dreamed of doing and see the dream come into reality.”
Congrats to Mondo! While this is a victory for Sweden, both the state of Louisiana and LSU gets to claim part of this gold medal, too.