NEW IBERIA — It's a Saturday at New Heights Gym in New Iberia. A week before the pole vault finals at the United States Track and Field Trials, Morgan Leleux is training with a load of confidence.
"This isn't fun and games anymore," Leleux said. "I'm going to compete. I'm going to bring the tiger out of me and I'm going for business. I'm going to make this Olympic team."
This bold declaration comes after years of visualizing this moment. Leleux reached the US trials in 2012 as a freshman at Georgia. Then in 2016, as a grad transfer at UL, she finished 4th and was an Olympic alternate.
"I had to try on the (Olympic) uniform. They showed me where I was staying," It was devastating and amazing at the same time. I have come such a long way. I could just feel it. It was just so close."
Leleux cleared the Olympic standard of 4.70 meters at an LSU indoor meet in February of 2020, a month before the season was shutdown. But the pandemic didn't deter the Catholic high school product, it only made her stronger.
"Seeing someone to help me with my diet. That's hard in Louisiana." Leleux sighs with a smile. "That's probably been the hardest. I'm seeing a sports psychologist. I'm getting the massages. I'm doing all the things. I honestly believe finally, that I deserve to be there, I deserve to be on this team and I will represent the U.S. with everything I have."
When she was little, Leleux aspired to represent America as a gymnast. Now, she's moments away from vaulting herself to that dream.
"It would just mean that, that little 5 year old girl that had the Olympic dream. Worked her butt off, went through so many obstacles. To finally just be in that place. It will all feel worth it. It was feel like it was meant to be and that the fight, every step of the way, was worth it."
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