An Olympic pole vaulter, Katie Nageotte, taps her spikes before jumping in memory of her late father, Mark. (Image courtesy of Getty Images/Patrick Smith, Facebook/@ktnago13)
On Thursday, August 5, Olmsted Falls native Katie Nageotte, 30, will compete in the women’s pole vault finals at the Tokyo Olympics. She qualified for the finals on the morning of Monday, August 2, after the competition was delayed by bad weather.
Katie made her Olympic debut after failing to qualify for the 2016 Rio Games after placing sixth in the trials. With a career-best pole vault of 16 feet, 2 3/4 inches at this year’s tests, Katie, whose career began at Ashland University where she won two NCAA Division II national championships, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
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Even though the number of Covid-19 cases connected to the Olympics continues to climb and numerous competitors withdraw from the competition, Japan continued with this year’s Olympics. The Summer Games came dangerously close to being called off at the eleventh hour because Tokyo was under a triple health threat. Katie, however, has her sights set on the gold at this year’s pole vaulting competition at the biggest sporting event in the world. The athlete’s family is a major source of motivation, and this is what we know about them.
On August 02, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan, on day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Katie Nageotte of Team United States watched the Women’s Pole Vault Qualification. (Image courtesy of Getty Images and Cameron Spencer)
Who are the parents of Katie Nageotte?
On June 13, 1991, Katie was born to parents Mark and Diana. Her younger siblings are Andy, 25, and Emily, 28. Her late father, Mark, was the athlete’s strongest supporter, claims Spikes. Before he passed away from a heart attack in 2007, he was her biggest supporter and the one who gave her the desire to accomplish greatness from a young age.
The news source reported that he would spend long hours driving her to private lessons, studying everything he could about the pole vault—a sport he had never heard of—and encouraging his daughter to succeed in any activity she chose. Katie still cherishes her memories of those wonderful moments. In any competition, she taps her spikes with the word “Dad” engraved on the inside before each big leap. When I tap my spikes, I tell my father, “Okay, let’s go. Let’s get going. He’s always on my mind, and I like to imagine that he’s relaxing somewhere and watching,” she said. She cited her father’s words to Cleveland.com in an interview: “If you’re going to pursue something, I want you to be outstanding at it.”
Her father was her staunchest ally.
Diane Nageotte, Katie’s mother, asserts that Katie’s passion for the sport can be attributed to two different events. According to Diane, Dave Godfray, the high school pole vault coach, said he wanted some women for that competition who had upper body strength, a background in gymnastics and were “crazy reckless.” Katie was the ideal partner. When she was younger, she participated in gymnastics competitions but stopped after a year. Instead of going to compete, Katie opted to enjoy herself at her friends’ birthday parties, according to Diane.
her mother remarked, “Katie has her version.” She recalls that I told her they were nuts when she was watching the pole vault. That will suit you just fine. However, I don’t remember doing that; who knows for sure. We’re all delighted she gave it a shot. According to Diane, Katie’s father, who was “extremely proud” of all the kids and frequently attended their sporting events, was her biggest supporter. Mark would try to be present for all of Katie’s practises and pay attention to her coaches’ instructions. According to Diane, he would check with Katie about what he had heard there.
In the year 20019, Katie said on Facebook, “Always competing for you. Dad, happy Father’s Day! I think of you every day and miss you. I’ll make sure to tap my shoes a little bit more frequently today. “brace-face” and “where are my brows?” Flying to the Olympic Trials on Father’s Day is so suitable, she said in another post this year honouring him. I usually miss you, but this year, even more. This week, I want to earn your admiration.
“He (Mark) found out about a pole vault club in Bellevue, which was an hour distant. For those two-and-a-half-hour practises, we would take her there twice a week. She was smitten. She started with a promise. He was the one who encouraged her pole vaulting, according to Diane, who spoke to the media.
Mark passed away from a heart attack in 2007 at 45. According to her mother, Katie frequently considers him, particularly during pole vault competitions. “She inscribes “Dad” on the shoe’s insole. She taps her foot before a big jump in a meet on the runway,” her mother stated. She started writing “Papa” on the other after her grandfather’s passing. She characterised her kid as “extremely spirited, always joyful and extroverted,” and said she would “skip” instead of walk.
Due to the current epidemic, supporters are not permitted at the Games, and Katie told WKYC that she would mourn not having her family there. It’s a bummer because my family was planning to come. But as soon as it was revealed that spectators would not be allowed into the stadium, I merely pleaded with them not to go. Although I’ve always performed better with family and friends present, it doesn’t mean I can’t go as well without them. I am confident that they will support me. There have been rumours of renting out a small pub in Olmsted Falls. I’m convinced I have a strong network of supporters who will always root for me.
On Thursday, August 5, at 6:20 AM ET, the Tokyo Olympics’ pole vault finals get underway.