Thursday, August 18, 2016
Irish Pole Vaulter Tori Pena retires from international athletics
Irish Pole Vaulter Tori Pena announced on Wednesday that she is retiring from international athletics. She has represented Ireland at 3 World Championships, 5 European Championships and 2 Olympic Games.
While she is native of California in the United States, she has dual US-Irish citizenship based on her maternal grandmother who came from Derry.
After declaring for Ireland in June of 2010, she set a new Irish record of 4.15m at the National Championships in July of that year. She would later go on to increase that record to 4.60m in 2013.
The top 5 Irish heights for the Pole Vault are shown below. As you can see, she was some way ahead of the other Irish women and the only person that was capable of reaching the various qualifying standards for international competitions.
1 4.60 NR Tori Pena 6 Jun 2013
2 4.45 Zoë Brown 15 Jul 2014
3 3.95i Claire Wilkinson 7 Feb 2014
4 3.93 Erin Kinnear 24 Apr 2004
5 3.82i Bridget Pearson 19 Feb 2000
This is Tori Pena's statement...
Since 2010 I've had the pleasure and absolute honor of representing Ireland. This morning was my last time putting on my uniform and proudly giving it my all. I've competed at 3 World Championships, 5 European Championships and 2 Olympic Games. But so much more importantly, I've had the honor to compete with some amazing women. (Seriously, women's pole vault is on fire and I'm happy to say I've competed with these athletes) I've made friends with ladies from around the world who have shown me strength, courage, bravery, and joy. This journey has been painstaking and heart wrenching. It's been beautiful and profound. I've learned more about myself than I ever thought imaginable. Believe in yourself people, you'll be surprised what you can achieve.
I also can't even begin to name all the people who have helped me along the way. From high school coaches and school teachers. To my amazing training partners, coaches, and therapists. Friends and athletes who have picked me up from the airport at strange hours and given me a place to sleep or a ride to the next meet with my poles. The list goes on full of odd and obscure favors from people in the pole vault community and far beyond. I've loved every minute of it!
thank you, thank you, thank you