Cleveland-native Katie Nageotte invoked LeBron James after her Olympic victory.
The Cavs won an NBA Championship during the 2015-2016 NBA season and LeBron James capped off the first NBA Championship win in the franchise’s history with a declaration of “Cleveland, this is for you!” It’s become a moment in Cleveland sports that is already iconic despite its recency and one that is played consistently on area sports broadcasts. It’s even become a recurring sound bite for most shows on 92.3 FM The Fan. Now, pole vaulter Katie Nageotte of Cleveland, Ohio is adding her own take on the iconic phrase.
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Competing in the 2020 games (in 2021), Nageotte was among the top qualifiers from Monday’s competition and secured a spot in the finals with a vault of 4.55 meters (14.92782 ft). While she impressed in her attempt to qualify for the finals, she was still a long shot to win gold.
Now, each pole vaulter is given four attempts per round to clear the given heights. Nageotte blew two of hers in the first two attempts during the event’s opening height. A bad omen. Eventually, she’d get her bearings and would take the first place slot with only the ROC’s Anzhelika Sidorova left to try and stop her.
Sidorova would come up short, literally, failing to clear the bar on her final attempt, clinching Nageotte’s gold medal in the event. In the closing moments, she approached a camera and told Cleveland “…this is for you!”, echoing the words of James five years ago.
Katie Nageotte joins a growing list of Cleveland gold medal winners
Nageotte has joined a list of Cleveland gold medal winners, becoming the seventh Clevelander to win an Olympic gold medal according to OhioSOS.GOV. While it’s not the Browns, Indians, or Cavs, we try to cover as many Cleveland-sport-centric items that we can. While we don’t cover the Olympics regularly, and never really talk about pole vaulting, we just had to bring up Nageotte’s win.
It’s the epitome of Cleveland sports culture.
The underdog that no one expected to win it all does. Not only that but she mounts a comeback, unseats the reigning Olympic pole vaulting champion Katerina Stefanidi, and a Russian (Sidorova) to take gold.
It’s a Disney movie come to life.
To further cement her status as a burgeoning Cleveland-sports-icon, she tried to set a U.S. record, attempting to clear a 5.1-meter high vault, after already winning the gold medal. She was unable to clear the bar, citing being overly emotional from her gold-medal win.