The Anti-Lochte: U.S. Pole Vaulter Stops In Middle Of Approach When He Hears ‘Star-Spangled Banner’
August 22 / Rick Chandler / SportsGrid
If Ryan Lochte and his swim pals tarnished the reputation of U.S. athletes with their gas station bathroom antics last week, then 2nd Lieutenant (Army Reserve) Sam Kendricks polished it up quite a bit on Sunday night.
Kendricks, from Ole Miss, won the bronze medal in men's pole vault Sunday, but that wasn't what caught our attention. During the qualifying rounds, Perkins was running full speed on his approach to the bar when somewhere in the arena, he heard the Star-Spangled Banner playing. His reaction? He immediately stopped, threw down his pole and stood at attention.
It may seem like a small thing -- some may even say foolish -- but man did we need that right now. After Lochte's shenanigans and subsequent interviews, out national image was hanging like it was attached by worn duct tape.
And in case you need more evidence of Kendricks' character, look at his reaction when Brazil's Thiago Braz da Silva cleared 6.03 to set an Olympic record and win the gold. I guess pole vaulters really are a band of brothers. That's the true Olympic spirit.