Local Olympian returns home from London without vaulting poles - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Local Olympian returns home from London without vaulting poles

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Jeremy Scott earned a spot on the U.S. pole vaulting team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

He has since returned from overseas to the Jonesboro area, where he trains at Bell Athletics, but was missing something when he got home.

Scott had left the Olympic games and competed in a few pole vaulting events in Germany.

When he went to board his flight home, he had to abandon his equipment after the airline refused to put it on the plane.

"It'd be like if the New York Giants went to the Super Bowl, and their pads didn't show up," Scott said. "You can't exactly go out there and play without pads."

Scott represented the U.S. at his first Olympic Games earlier this month. He fell just short of the pole vaulting final but says the experience ended on a high note.

He got to attend the closing ceremonies with his teammates and meet a few celebrities at the London premiere of "The Expendables 2."

"My inner child, my sixth grade self was just like bursting at the seams meeting all of those guys that you watch growing up," he said, "so that was pretty neat too."

Scott then packed up his equipment and left London for Germany.

Despite having flown more than 100,000 miles this year alone, he says he is still met with wide-eyed hesitation when he brings several 17-foot long vaulting poles into an airport.

"It's easy out of Memphis, and that's never a problem," Scott said. "Coming home 50 percent of the time, you have to sit there and fight with them a little longer, but you always plan on it. But, this is the first time it's ever been where they've said nope, we're not taking them."

Leaving Germany, a Delta ticketing agent told the Olympian his vaulting poles would have to stay grounded because they were simply too big.

Delta Airlines does allow its passengers to check vaulting poles up to a certain size, but Scott says he has been able to bypass that guideline depending on the size of the aircraft.

This time, Scott ended up leaving the poles with friends in Germany and is now working with the airline to have them returned.

"We've got to make sure that getting the poles on the plane or accepting them as baggage is going to happen every time."

Scott was expecting a call Friday to find out when his equipment should make it back to the U.S.

He says the airline also wants to discuss his ideas for streamlining the check-in process for athletes or any other person trying to bring large sports equipment on board.

A Delta media spokesperson did not immediately return our call for comment.

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