Kendricks wins spot on Olympics team – Paris will be 3rd Olympics

Published 3:38 am Wednesday, June 26, 2024

By Ian Sparks 

Oxford native and Ole Miss graduate Sam Kendricks has punched his ticket to the 2024 Olympics in Paris. He won the Olympic Trials for pole vault on Sunday, June 23, at the University of Oregon. 

Kendricks set a meet record with a 19-foot, 5-inch jump at the Oregon trials. 

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This will be the third time Kendricks has qualified for the Olympic squad, winning a bronze medal in 2016.

During his time at Ole Miss, Kendricks was a two-time NCAA champion in pole vault, as well as earning All-American honors five times as a Rebel. 

The last Olympics held in Tokyo was pushed to 2021 by COVID, which would still have a part to play in Kendricks’ Olympic run. Following a positive COVID test, Kendricks was quarantined and therefore unable to compete in the competition. 

This left a sour taste in the mouth for Kendricks as he stated on Saturday he “might not go” to this year’s Olympics should he qualify. 

“I don’t like the Olympics. The Olympics screwed me. Everybody at Team USA left me behind. I don’t have any respect for the team. They just left me in Tokyo. If I make the team, I might not go,” Kendricks said. 

Upon winning the gold medal and qualifying on Sunday, Kendricks had a change of heart. 

“I don’t want to be bitter with anyone. I said I may not accept my spot on the Olympic team. I will.”