"This is the biggest dream I have ever had for myself," Katie Nageotte told reporters after her win

Katie Nageotte

Pole position for pole vaulter Katie Nageotte!

On Thursday evening, Nageotte, 30, became the third U.S. woman to win gold in the women's pole vault at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

The Ohio native cleared 4.90m (16 feet and 1 inch) on her second attempt to finish in first place while Anzhelika Sidorova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) missed at 4.95m on her final attempt and settled for silver. Third place went to Great Britain's Holly Bradshaw.

"It hasn't even begun to sink in yet. This is the biggest dream I have ever had for myself, and here I am living the dream," Nageotte told reporters after her big win.

Katie Nageotte
Katie Nageotte

Speaking about Thursday evening's competition, Nageotte said she nearly failed to clear her opening height due to "the worst warm-up I have had in a long time and I did an ugly first few jumps." After, she had only two misses the rest of the event.

"It took me a few heights to get into it, but I was just fighting and I finally found a smooth jump. It came together," said the athlete, who competed in gymnastics as a child.

After the year-long postponement due to the COVID pandemic, she said her victory was extra sweet. "This is about as good as I could feel. We've all been through so much with COVID and everything, I'm really grateful," she said.

Nageotte, who won the event at the Olympic trials, joins the exclusive club of gold medal-winning pole vaulters with Stacy Dragila, who at the 2000 Sydney Games and Jennifer Suhr who won at the 2012 London Games.

With Nageotte's win, the U.S. became the first nation to win in pole vault three times at the Olympics.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.