He's the world record holder for both indoor and outdoor events and now he's an Olympic medalist. As his brothers watched from home and his father from the stands in Tokyo early Tuesday morning, LSU's Mondo Duplantis earned his much anticipated gold medal with a 6.02 meter jump in the finals.
Duplantis took five jumps throughout the entire final, clearing heights of 5.55 meters, 5.80 meters, 5.92 meters, 5.97 meters and the final 6.02 meters. Throughout the last minutes of the competition, it was only Sweden's Duplantis and USA's Christopher Nilson who were battling for the gold.
It looked for a while like Duplantis was going to run away with the event final but Nilsin set a personal best 5.97 to apply a little pressure on Duplantis. But Duplantis would clear 6.02 meters with ease to capture the gold, accomplishing a lifelong goal. With the gold medal, Duplantis became the first LSU men's track star to win a gold medal at the Olympics in 85 years.
After finishing and earning the gold, Duplantis then went on to try and reset the Olympic World Record of 6.19 meters. Duplantis, who owns both the outdoor and indoor pole vaulting record of 6.18 meters but came up just short at the Olympics.
For many in south Louisiana and in the Baton Rouge area in particular, the Duplantis name has been popular for many years now. Mondo set records as a 15-year-old in pole vaulting and earned his way into being a Sports Illustrated high school athlete growing up.
He then went on to star at LSU before turning pro where not one year into that decision, he broke the world record in pole vaulting.
The Tigers have been well represented at the Olympics as not only Duplantis but swimmer Brooks Curry also won a gold medal for Team USA in the 4x100 relay. Additionally, LSU track and field star JuVaughn Harrison placed seventh and fifth respectively in the high jump and long jump finals at the Olympics.