Gold Medalist Katerina Stefanidi Returns to SPIRE to Train for 2021 Olympics

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SPIRE Institute and Academy is pleased to announce that Katerina Stefanidi, the gold medalist in pole vault at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, will return to the organization’s complex near Lake Erie to train for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

2016 Summer Olympics Pole Vault Gold Medalist Katerina Stefanidi

This is a such a great testament to the outstanding facilities that SPIRE has to offer every athlete.

SPIRE Institute and Academy is pleased to announce that Katerina Stefanidi, the gold medalist in pole vault at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, will return to the organization’s complex near Lake Erie to train for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Stefanidi will continue her training with her husband, Mitch Krier.

Prior to the Rio Olympics, while training at SPIRE, Stefanidi set a national record with a huge leap at 4.90m at the Milrose Games, ranking her fourth in the event of all time. She continued to improve her personal bests, ultimately racking up a jump of 4.80m for the bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Portland. At the 2016 Olympics, she won the gold medal with a jump of 4.85 meters.

"SPIRE is extremely excited to have Katerina Stefanidi the upcoming months to prepare for the 2021 Olympic Games. Katerina and her husband/coach will be utilizing the indoor track and field facilities as well as SPIRE Performance. This is a such a great testament to the outstanding facilities that SPIRE has to offer every athlete," said Tim Mack, one of SPIRE’s Track and Field coaches and a gold medalist himself in the sport during the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

After being voted European Athlete of the Year in 2017, Stefanidi increased her collection of medals, taking third at the World Indoor Championships in 2018 with a vault of 4.80m and first at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin with a vault of 4.85m. Later that year, she won the Diamond League series with a vault of 4.87m. She won again in 2019 with 4.83m. She took the bronze medal at the 2019 Worlds, with a vault of 4.85m.

In 2020, with most sporting events cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stefanidi participated in a virtual event organized my World Athletics called The Ultimate Garden Clash, during which competitors collected as many vault clearances as possible during two, 15-minute periods on separate practice tracks. Stefanidi won top honors at the virtual competition with 34 clearances.

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