USD’s Chris Nilsen has found a new way to relax before he vaults

Olympian is more prepared for Tokyo now with new way to relax
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:20 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Former South Dakota Coyote pole vaulter Chris Nilsen is anxiously awaiting his chance to compete in the Olympics.

There’s certainly more pressure in a sport when you’re out there all by yourself. And when you’re one of the favorites in the pole vault, or whatever your event is...that adds pressure. Chris has jumped all over the world. But he still has to deal with nerves... So how does he do it? What does he do to calm himself down? ”Scream, I literally scream before I vault. Which is a very new thing. It just came about this indoor season because I went to this one meet and it was my first meet over in Europe and I jumped 18-4 and I was really mad about it. I asked my coach Derek what’s wrong and he said you just don’t look like you’re very intense at all. It looks like you’re just strolling through the park smelling the roses. He said hype yourself up, yell, get mad. I don’t care just make yourself better. And the very next meet I screamed before I vaulted because I was feeling nervous and I jumped a personal best indoors,” says the Olympian.

We’ll all be screaming for him Saturday in the prelims. He has to make finals which is Tuesday where Chris would certainly be one of the names to watch for a medal.

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