There did not appear to be much of an upside in pole vaulting for Tim Mack when he was attending St. Ignatius High School. While obviously dedicated, he never qualified for the state meet.
But the Westlake resident did not let the ups and downs of his unique event discourage him from achieving a historic goal. After attending Malone College and the Univesity of Tennessee, Mack put together one of the finest seasons in the sport in 2004. After winning the U.S. Olympic Trials with a Trials-record vault of 19-4 3/4, he won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics with an Olympic record of 19-6 1/4.
Definitely not resting on his laurels, he capped his season by setting another record at the World Athletics Final with a personal best of 19-8 1/4, the top mark in the world that year.
Mack established his presence on the national scene when he won the 1995 NCAA indoor title with a 18-4 3/4. However, he did not qualify for Olympic heroics in 1996 or 2000. He broke the 19-foot barrier as the Goodwill Games champion with a 19-0 1/4 in 2001. He was the USA indoor champion in 2002, finishing second in the outdoor event that year.
After his Olympic triumph, Mack’s career was slowed when he underwent surgery in October 2006 to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The long road back culminated in his winning a second USA indoor title when he went 18-8 1/4 in 2010.
Graduating from Tennessee with a degree in Education, he went on to earn a masters in Human Performance and Sports Studies. He continues to coach and run clinics at the university. He is single.