Mondo Duplantis is back in Louisiana as the 2021 Summer Olympics move closer and closer. Tuesday he celebrated St. Louis Catholic's indoor title with the team.
"High school was pretty pivotal in my development. Going from a kid my freshman year, to jumping over 19 feet my senior year. High school was a really important time for me as an athlete," he said. "The St. Louis Catholic girls team, it's great to celebrate them and come back to Louisiana when I have time."
Since graduating from Lafayette High, Mondo has become an international sensation. He competed at LSU for a year before turning pro to focus on Olympic preparation. He's bashed the world records and has become one of Sweden's more recognizable faces. Mondo said Tuesday that coming home actually allows him to escape some of the spotlight.
"People know me here, and I get love and support in southern Louisiana. But it's not at the scale it is when I'm in northern Europe, Sweden," he said. "I really do enjoy coming back here and being able to be normal in some situations."
Mondo, a Lafayette native, is the world's top ranked pole vaulter. He competes for team Sweden, his mother's home country.
"The Swedish federation really wanted me to compete for Sweden. Basically had the national team coach call me every day to tell me why I should compete for team Sweden. My mom thought it'd be a great idea because it's the motherland, it's where my mom comes from. My mom thought it'd be great for me to represent that other half of me."
Mondo spent many summers as a kid in Sweden and his career has taken him around the world.That brought one reporter to asking him about his favorite food and like one of Acadiana's favorite sons, Mondo was quick to say that the best food is here in Louisiana, so long as you're not worried about your waistline.
"As an athlete and someone that tries to keep a particular weight, it can be tough in Louisiana. You want to eat a little much and eat and a few too many things that are not healthy for you, but the food is fantastic here."
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