Local Olympic Spotlight: New York’s Jenn Suhr Favorite to Win Another Olympic Medal in Pole Vault
New Yorker Jenn Suhr is looking to back up her fantastic London performance when she heads to Rio to compete in the pole vault.
After winning the gold medal in 2012 and silver in Beijing in 2008, Suhr looked for another chance to return to the top, and got her chance when she won the pole vaulting event at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
She has fifteen total career national championships in the pole vault, six indoor and nine outdoor. Recently, she won the indoor national championship this season, to go along with her silver in 2008, as well as her outdoor silver in 2013. In the 2015 Pan-Am games, she earned a bronze medal.
Without archrival Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia in the competition (she was part of the doping ban on the Russian team) many are assuming that the gold medal is practically Suhr’s already. The world record is held by Isinbayeva, and she beat Suhr in Beijing, and finished in third behind her in London.
However, even without Isinbayeva, earning her second gold, and third medal overall, won’t be easy. American teammate Sanid Morris has been pushing Suhr, even to breaking her American record this year, which is the best height vaulted this season. She should be able to give Suhr strong competition for the top of the podium. Also expected to be near the top of the podium is defending silver medalist, Yarisley Silva of Cuba. Them, and even Fabiana Murer of host nation Brazil should make it a tough feat for Suhr to repeat. No matter what though, she will have a very good to reach the podium in the Olympics.
She trains in her backyard in Churchville, New York, with her husband, Rick, being her coach. She attended Roberts Wesleyan College, where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology. In 2008, she was named Female Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News.