Local Olympian returns home from London without vaulting poles

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Jeremy Scott earned a spot on theU.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 polevaulting events in Germany.

When he went to board his flight home, he had to abandon hisequipment 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 andplay without pads."

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

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

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

Scott then packed up his equipment and left London forGermany.

Despite having flown more than 100,000 miles this yearalone, he says he is still met with wide-eyed hesitation when he brings several17-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 andfight with them a little longer, but you always plan on it. But, this is thefirst time it's ever been where they've said nope, we're not taking them."

Leaving Germany, a Delta ticketing agent told the Olympianhis vaulting poles would have to stay grounded because they were simply toobig.

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

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

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

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

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

A Delta media spokesperson did not immediately return ourcall for comment.

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