Stacy Dragila is one of the true trailblazers in track and field, winning the first ever world indoor and outdoor championships and first Olympic gold medal in the women’s pole vault.
In our first installment of MileSplit Legends, Dragila talks about her humble beginnings growing up in Northern California; how she developed from a hurdler to a multi-event athlete; being introduced to the pole vault by avant-garde coach Dave Nielsen; the foundation-laying years of women’s pole vault competition; her triumphant experience at the Sydney Olympics; and what she envisions next in the future of girls' and women’s pole vaulting.
0:00: Intro / Quick catchup with Stacy
1:50: Growing up in Northern California; cattle talk
5:13: Early start in track & field
17:59: How the multis prepared Stacy for pole vaulting
19:11: Getting comfortable vaulting / Early days of women's pole vault
31:12: Making your way, and a living, in a new event
39:15: 1996 Olympic Trials / 1997 World Outdoor Championships
43:00: Sexualization of women's pole vault / "Chicks With Sticks"
44:18: 1999 World Outdoor Championships / 2000 Olympic Trials
54:05: The Sydney Olympic Experience
1:05:55: The rise of Yelena Isinbayeva
1:13:19: Stacy looks back on her career accomplishments
1:15:17: Coming up with no female pole vault role models
1:22:37: The Moll twins
1:23:58: The biggest innovations in women's pole vault since Stacy's retirement
1:25:46: When does specialization become important?
1:30:01: The next evolution in women's pole vault