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

The record-breaking star of global athletics: Meet Mondo Duplantis

The Swedish pole vaulter 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 everyday sports fans. At 23 years young, the Swedish-American pole vaulter has already made history by breaking the world record multiple times as well as vaulting 6 meters or higher more times than any other athlete before. Still looking towards new heights, Mondo Duplantis is just getting started.
Keep reading to find out how his obsession with the unique and challenging sport started and how he’s been stacking up impressive results from as early as seven years old.
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 Mondo Duplantis has reached such heady heights at such a young age should perhaps not come as a surprise to those who’s 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 setup in the back garden of in their home in Lafayette in Louisianna, Duplantis was only three years old when he first tried his hands 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

Growing up most kids had basketball nets or soccer 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 had a nack for it. Together with the help from his mum, coaching him in fitness and strength, his career quickly become a family affair. Duplantis set his fist age group world best at the age of seven and proceeded to break the record in his age group the following six years.
Pole vaulting is such a complex sport. Pushing yourself off the ground, only to twist and turn yourself upside down, fly over the bar, and then free-fall back down to earth again. It’s a technique that takes practice to learn and guts to execute. Young Duplantis spent countless hours studying the technique of his childhood heroes by watching videos on his computer after school. His number-one hero being Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie, a graceful pole vaulter, who held the world record between 2014 to 2020.
Check out Mondo's backyard setup 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


Mondo starts representing Sweden...

During his childhood, the family often went back to Sweden to spend the summers. Continuing his training and competing on the other side of the pond made Duplantis realise how big track and field is in Sweden: one of the biggest sports in the country, host to multiple big international track and field competitions and televised nationwide. “In Sweden a track and field stadium is as common as a football or baseball field in the USA”, Duplantis explains. So, in 2015, when it came to choosing what country to represent Duplantis chose Sweden.
At this time he was still in high school and lived at home in Lafayette, but started spending a lot 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 amongst the Swedes and has since then, just like his career, skyrocketed in popularity in his second home country.
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


... and takes his career to the next level

It’s pretty clear that Duplantis has never been the dark horse, or the underdog, in the sport. He has always been on the rise. As a youth and and junior he won the 2015 World Youth Championships, the 2017 European Junior Championships and the 2018 World Junior Championships. By the time he stepped it up into the elite ranks, everyone in pole vaulting knew who he was. That kind of reputation, as exciting as it is, also 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 take a 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

Starting with the in-run, pole vaulting is an extremely technical sport

© 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 meters of the ground seems impossible to most

© Predrag Vuckovic / Red Bull Content Pool

In the following years, he staked up results as well as valuable experiences, including winning the 2018 European Championships with a 6.05-meter jump that ranked him tied for fifth best pole vaulter in history.

Mondo’s record-breaking year

2020 would be the year that Duplantis found the final pieces to his puzzle. Right at the start of the season, on the 8th of February in Toruń, Poland he cleared the remarkable height of 6.17 meters and broke the almost six-year-old world record held by his childhood idol Renaud Lavillenie. A childhood dream 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.

How could you describe that winning feeling?

© Sophie Odelberg / Red Bull Content Pool

It’s something I’ve wanted since I was three years old.
Once Duplantis made it click, he became somewhat unstoppable. It only took a week until his next great feat. On February 15th in Glasgow, Scotland he sailed over 6.18 meters and broke his own world record by a centimeter. A few months later, in September in Rome, he broke legendary pole vaulter Sergey Bubka’s 1994 outdoor world best of 6.14 meters by jumping 6.15. “I hit the mat but I haven’t really fallen back to Earth”, Duplantis said moments after his jump.

Mondo now holds all the titles

Since his incredible 2020 season, Mondo Duplantis has become a household name not just in Sweden, but very much in the world of sports. In 2022 he cemented his role in history by once again beating his world record, three times. He started the season by clearing the height of 6.19 meters in Belgrade Serbia, followed it up by sailing over 6.20 meters 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.
With his win at the World Championships in Eugene, Duplantis has now taken all the biggest titles in the sport. On top of that, his record-breaking 2022 season also saw him vault six meters or higher 22 times. It means that the 23-year-old has more six-meter 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 5 times. 6.21 m is his current record

© 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, 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.