Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis celebrates victory with the Swedish flag.
© Adam Klingeteg

Meet Armand Duplantis: the record-breaking star of global athletics

Swedish-American pole vaulter Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis is taking the sport to new heights by raising the bar and breaking his own world records.
Written by Hanna Jonsson
6 min readUpdated on
Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis has taken the world by storm, bringing pole vaulting into the homes of even casual sports fans. At just 23, the Swedish-American superstar has already made history by breaking the world record multiple times, as well as vaulting six metres or higher more times than any other athlete before him. Still looking towards new heights, Duplantis is just getting started.
Keep reading to find out how his obsession with the unique and challenging sport of pole vaulting started, and how he’s been stacking up impressive results from as early as seven years old.
Watch Duplantis perform together with 10 of the world's best pole vaulters at Mondo Classic live on Red Bull TV on February 2.
Armand Duplantis performs during a photoshoot in Uppsala, Sweden on January 29, 2020.

Mondo has been obsessed with pole vaulting since he was three years old

© Adam Klingeteg/Red Bull Content Pool


Mondo’s pole vaulting is a family affair

That Duplantis has reached such heady heights at such a young age should perhaps not come as a surprise to those that have been following his journey. Pole vaulting is in many ways part of his DNA with his American dad Greg a talented pole vaulter himself and his Swedish mum Helena a former heptathlete. With a pole vaulting set-up in the back garden of their home in Lafayette, Louisiana, Mondo was only three years old when he first tried his hand at the sport.
An image of a young Armand Duplantis holding a pole.

Even at a young age, Duplantis was hooked on pole vaulting

© Duplantis Family

Most kids had basketball nets in the backyard. We had a pole vault setup. That made us pretty unique
With a deep love and fascination for the sport, Duplantis quickly took to it and under the watchful eye of his dad, who’s still his coach today, it became clear that the young pole vaulter possessed a natural talent. Together with help from his mum, coaching him in fitness and strength, his career quickly become a family affair. Duplantis set his first age group world best at the age of seven and proceeded to break the record in his age group the following six years.
An incredibly complex sport, athletes are required to push off the ground, only to twist and turn upside down in order to fly over the bar and then free-fall down to the mat. It’s a technique that takes years to master and it requires a sense of fearlessness. Young Duplantis spent hours watching videos of his heroes – with his favourite being Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie, a graceful pole vaulter who held the world record between 2014 and 2020.
Check out Mondo's backyard set-up in the video below:

4 min

Red Bull Backyards – Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis

Take a trip to Lafayette, Louisiana, USA to the backyard of world record pole vaulter, Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis.

Polish +1


Representing Sweden

During his childhood, the family often spent their summers in Sweden but that didn’t stop Duplantis from continuing to train and compete. Realising just how big track and field is in the European nation – with Sweden hosting numerous competitions that are televised nationwide – Mondo chose to represent the country. “In Sweden, a track and field stadium is as common as a football or baseball field in the USA,” he says.
Still in high school and living in Lafayette, he began to spend more time in Sweden. He joined the local track and field club, Upsala IF, and started perfecting his Swedish language skills. Dedicating himself to his Swedish heritage quickly gained him bonus points among the Swedes and his popularity began to skyrocket.
Armand Duplantis of Sweden seen during the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on March 20, 2022.

Though born and raised in the USA, Duplantis decided to represent Sweden

© Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool


Taking his career to the next level

It’s pretty clear that Duplantis has never been the dark horse or the underdog. At junior level he won the 2015 World Youth Championships, the 2017 European Junior Championships and the 2018 World Junior Championships. By the time he stepped up into the elite ranks, everyone in pole vaulting knew who he was.
That kind of reputation, as exciting as it is, comes with a lot of pressure. Competing at his first-ever elite World Championships in London in 2017 was a tough lesson that things don’t always go to plan. But learning to accept defeat is just as important as a win for an athlete, so Duplantis picked himself back up and came back stronger.
Armand Duplantis of Sweden performs during the Belgrade Indoor Meeting in Belgrade, Serbia on March 7, 2022.

Speed, power and technique

© Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Armand Duplantis of Sweden performs during the Belgrade Indoor Meeting in Belgrade, Serbia on March 7, 2022.

Getting inverted six metres off the ground seems impossible to most

© Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

In the following years, he racked up positive results as well as gained valuable experiences, including winning the 2018 European Championships with a jump of 6.05m – the joint fifth highest jump in history.

A record-breaking year

2020 was the year that Duplantis found the final pieces to his puzzle. Right at the start of the season, on February 8 in Toruń, Poland, he cleared the remarkable height of 6.17m and broke the almost six-year-old world record held by his childhood idol Lavillenie. It was a feat that he’d worked his entire life towards.
Armand Duplantis seen during the Diamond League track and field competitions in Stockholm, Sweden on August 23, 2020.

That winning feeling

© Sophie Odelberg/Red Bull Content Pool

It’s something I’ve wanted since I was three years old
Once it clicked for Duplantis, he became unstoppable. It only took a week until his next great feat. On February 15 in Glasgow, Scotland, he sailed over 6.18m and broke his own world record. Then, in September in Rome, Italy, he broke legendary pole vaulter Sergey Bubka’s 1994 outdoor world best of 6.14m by jumping 6.15m. “I hit the mat but I haven’t really fallen back to earth," Duplantis said moments after his jump.

Holding all the titles

Since his incredible 2020 season, Duplantis has become a household name not just in Sweden, but around the world. In 2022, he cemented his role in history by once again beating his own world record – not once, but three times. He started the season by clearing the height of 6.19m in Belgrade, Serbia; followed it up by sailing over 6.20m a week later at the World Athletics Indoor Championships; and finally soared over 6.21m - with room to spare - at the World Championship in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
With his win at the World Championships in Eugene, Duplantis has now won all the biggest titles in the sport. On top of that, his record-breaking 2022 season saw him vault six metres or higher a staggering 22 times. It means that the 23-year-old has more six-metre clearances than any other pole vaulter in history.
Armand Duplantis of Sweden poses for a portrait during the Belgrade Indoor Meeting in Belgrade, Serbia on March 7, 2022.

Mondo has broken his own world record five times

© Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Behind all the world records and titles is of course a lot of hard work. The two-time World Athlete of the Year (2020 and 2022) still remains humble and never seems to take any win for granted. As for what the future holds, there are surely more records to come.
As Duplantis himself puts it: “I just try to go out there, I try to jump high, I try to break records and I try to just keep improving.”

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Swedish-American pole vaulter Armand Duplantis has been setting new standards since he was seven and is now a world-record holder.