Yelena Isinbayeva had the Bird's Nest all to herself. The night's track and field events had ended except for the women's pole vault, a sport that rarely gets top-billing. But here was Isinbayeva, with some 80,000 fans focused on the Russian as she had one more chance to break her own world record. The bar stood 5.05 meters high just a shade taller than the world record height of 5.04 meters she had cleared the month before. She sprinted down the runway, set her pole, and with the cameras flashing, Isinbayeva soared...to a thrilling new world record. Ecstatic, she did a flip to further rile up the crowd. "I felt like a famous singer," Isinbayeva said. "The whole stage was only for me. It was so cool."
Next Tragedy and Triumph