LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- The Olympics officially open on Friday, July 23 and eyes will be on Lafayette’s very own, Armand “Mondo” Duplantis. Duplantis is representing Sweden as he competes in the pole vault category.
Duplantis currently holds the world record for indoor pole vaulting. Soon, we will all be able to see his journey to the Olympics in the documentary Born To Fly.
Brennan Robideaux, the documentarian of Born To Fly, has been filming Duplantis since the pole vaulter was 17.
“In the beginning was no one could understand how this sort of scrawny kid was jumping these crazy Olympic level heights and you know we explore that in the film,” Robideaux said.
Robideaux just wrapped up filming the documentary as Duplantis heads to the Olympics.
“Through the years I've captured him setting world junior record after world junior record, going on to jump 19ft 10in and then finally just as of last year right before the pandemic hit, he actually broke the overall world record jump 20 feet three inches,” he said.
In the film, viewers should expect to see Duplantis’s trials and tribulations as a pole vaulter while he was in high school and college. The documentarian said within the last five years he has learned a lot about the sport.
“I've learned an incredible amount about the dedication that it takes to become an Olympic level athlete, it's, you know, we all assume that it's, of course, this incredibly difficult process but when you see it firsthand and what they go through to make sure that they are ready to compete at the highest level it's, it's incredible,” he said.
Duplantis’s career first started to gain national attention while he was an athlete at Lafayette High. Ryan Fredrick, a former track and field coach, said that Duplantis’s athleticism never ceased to amaze him.
“I think Christmas Eve, and he's out at Lafayette High, and he's running. I had a coach call me and say you wouldn't believe this, I said well that's, that's the type of kid he is,” Fredrick said.
While at Lafayette High, Duplantis was coached by his parents. His father, Greg Duplantis, is also an alumnus of Lafayette High and a former pole-vaulter.
“He broke his fathers a high school record at a Lafayette High. Then he broke. He broke the national high school record,” Fredrick said.
The coach said that Duplantis was also well-rounded in other sports such as running track. He remembers Duplantis being up for any challenge.
“He could have been a state champion in the 200 if he would have concentrated on that. He could have been a state champion in the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles, he could have been a state champion in the triple jump, and probably could have said the state record in the triple jump, he just gifted,” he said.
Duplantis’s former teammates also looked up to him.
“They loved his work ethic, and, and they also loved that there was a respect between all of them,”
Mondo Duplantis is competing in the Olympics men’s pole vault on Friday, July 30. Duplantis is among four Acadiana natives competing in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.