Pole Vaulting

Pole Vaulting

A tall, muscular athlete stands at the end of a long, paved runway holding a lengthy, flexible pole. He intently concentrates on a tiny wooden box at the end of the runway. With his eyes firmly fixed upon the small box, he lifts the pole in front of him until it is parallel to the ground. Then he begins to run… slowly at first, and then faster… and faster… down the runway toward the box, and toward a long, narrow crossbar positioned high above the box. Just as he reaches his maximum speed, and as he approaches the end of the runway, the athlete thrusts the end of the pole into the small wooden box and then leaps skyward. His forward momentum is converted into upward movement as he soars toward the crossbar above. Riding the pole skyward, the athlete pulls his feet above the pole, and then pressing into a handstand, he is catapulted over the precariously balanced crossbar and down into a soft foam landing area. Such is the sport of Olympics Pole Vaulting. This demanding Track and Field event requires an athlete with razor sharp coordination, massive upper body strength, and the speed of a fleet-footed sprinter. One of the most dramatic and popular of all Olympics events, pole vaulting promises excitement to any and all spectators. To honor this rigorous Olympics event, the United States Postal Service issued the stamp featured on this First Day Cover.

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