Memphis pole vaulter to compete in Rio Olympics

May 5, 2016

In a sport where centimeters can make all the difference, the more than 5,000 miles between Memphis and Rio de Janeiro can seem impossibly large.

But one former University of Memphis pole vaulter will be making the trip to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Meet Pauls Pujats. He’s a Memphis transplant from Riga, Latvia. His journey to Rio took an important pit stop in Memphis.

It all started when he missed the cut for the 2012 Olympic Games.

“I went to qualify for London Olympic Games…I missed out by 10 centimeters,” Pujats remembered.

He refused to give up his dream of being an Olympian. In fact, missing the cut made him more determined than ever…