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Olympic Pole Vaulter May be the Perfect Fishing Partner

by Ross Purnell, Editor   |  June 10th, 2016 0

A fly-fishing tribute to her dad

The summer Olympics are always special to me. I must admit that it’s hard to keep up with the constant grind of professional sport leagues attempting to monopolize nine months of every year, but the spectacle of the Olympics and especially the individual events in track and field and swimming—which don’t get much attention otherwise—are especially captivating.

This year I’ll be keeping an eye on Olympic hopeful Melinda Withrow who is a fly fisher who grew up in the small town of Polson, Montana on the shores of Flathead Lake.

Sports fans sometimes choose their allegiances for fickle reasons, but in this case, her description of fly fishing with her father makes me admire her as a person: “This is what’s important in life. Pole vault is something I do, and I enjoy, and I love it, but this is what life is about.”

Whether she gets there or not, her dad has to be proud.

Olympic Pole Vaulter

How are pole vaulting and fly fishing related? #1 the dynamics of bending and then unloading a carbon fiber and fiberglass tube are nearly identical. And #2 Olympic hopeful Melinda Winthrow is good at both of them.

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