Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Reaching New Heights

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 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."