‘I do sport, but it’s not who I am’: Nicola McDermott jumping for gold and God in Tokyo | Kieran Pender

‘I do sport, but it’s not who I am’: Nicola McDermott jumping for gold and God in Tokyo | Kieran Pender

The Guardian

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The Australian high jumper on breaking the magical two-metre barrier, going solo in Europe during Covid, and her strong Christian faith

After each jump during competition, Australian high jumper Nicola McDermott does something unusual. Having returned to her kitbag and retrieved a notepad, McDermott proceeds to rate her performance in discrete categories – take off, run up, jump and so on – out of 10. She then discusses these assessments with her coach, Matt Horsnell, before choosing a single area of improvement for the next jump. “I do that faithfully following every jump,” she explains. “I’m there with my pen. I never get 10 out of 10 – there is always something to work on.”

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