ATHLEISURE MAG: What brought you to being in Track & Field as an overall sport and specifically, the pole vault?
ALYSHA NEWMAN: Track was my second love and gymnastics was my first. I felt that gymnastics would take me to the Olympics. But when I turned 10 or 11 years old, I had a huge growth spurt and went from 5’4” to 5’8” in a couple of years! It just got hard and I fractured my L5 vertebrae and my body couldn’t keep up with it. I was forced into retirement at the age of 13. I mean, as a 13-year-old, training 32 hours a week, in a gymnastics gym, going to school half days – I was having so much fun and it never felt like a job to me.
I took a year off from all athletics to heal myself, but my mom knew that I still wanted to be an athlete. She wanted to put me in diving and in swimming and in more track and field. I ended up dropping the water sports and focused on track and field. In elementary school in Canada, you do Pentathlons, so I did a number of different events. I ended up loving hurdles - the start, the finish and the training. But going from 32 hours to 8 hours a week, I was going crazy at home and wanted to be at the track more.
My manager at the London Legion club, said I should do 2 events which would give me 16 hours on the track. He felt that since I was a gymnast, pole vault would be a good idea. Within 6 months, I started competing. The very first competition that I did, I jumped 3.15m and it was the league record. From that day on, I fell in love with the sport, forgot about gymnastics and found my new passion. First competition that I did, I jumped 3.15m and it was the league record. From that day on, I fell in love with the sport, forgot about gymnastics and found my new passion.
AM: How does the sport of pole vault work in terms of the rules and how you know you have won?
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