Pole Vault: Deadliest Sport In America!

Kevin Dare
In 2002, the death of teenage collegiate pole vaulter, Kevin Dare, garnered international media attention after Kevin was killed by a preventable fatal head injury during a nationally televised track meet. Just days prior, 16 year old Florida high school pole vaulter, Jesus Queseda, was also needlessly killed in the same manner. In referrence to the pole vault death of Jesus Queseda, a ESPN article (see article) states that Queseda’s “death didn’t even cause a ripple in the national news.” BOTH, Kevin's and Jesus Queseda’s DEATHS, were undeniably the result of LETHAL conventional FLEXIBLE vaulting pole MISapplication being NEGLIGENTLY promoted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NFHS and NCAA are only two among many accountable organizations condoning this ongoing carnage. Since the late 1980s, sports equipment Goliath, United Canvas & Sling, has been profiting from the world's TOP MISapplied vaulting pole brand, "UCS Spirit," with which Kevin Dare also vaulted. There were two other documented teenage pole vault fatalities during that same year together with several other avoidable permanently disabling catastrophes. At the time, relating to Kevin’s death, Paul Terek, “No. 6 vaulter in the nation,” stated: "100 out of 100 pole vaulters have had some kind of accident in their careers. You just bury it, but it's been unearthed now…” In other words, in 2002, world-class pole vaulter, Paul Terek, publicly exposed that 100% of pole vaulters sustain “some kind” of injury. (see article)

"100 out of 100 pole vaulters have had some kind of accident in their careers."

RODEO BULL RIDERS and “TRADITIONAL” POLE VAULTERS have in common that 100% of those who routinely participate in these two life-threatening events suffer injuries. The glaring difference, between POLE VAULTER DEATHS and BULL RIDER DEATHS, is that the average pole vault fatality is much younger, at only 17 years of age, with the youngest confirmed avoidable pole vault death being a 14 year old child in 1979. It is a documented fact that the typical pole vault fatality is the result of a PREVENTABLE life-ending catastrophe in which a naive minor child is the senseless victim.

As of now, virtually nobody is aware that Browning Arms manufactured and pioneered fiberglass vaulting poles in the early 1960s. Today, decades of documented preventable pole vault catastrophes substantiate that the MOST LETHAL weapon ever produced by Browning Arms is NOT a firearm... it is the fiberglass VAULTING POLE. Established on a "risk to user per application" basis, misused FLEXIBLE vaulting poles transform into one of the most lethal weapons ever developed by human hands.

In 1991, ELEVEN YEARS PRIOR to Kevin Dare's death, it had already become thoroughly obvious to us, at AIR STRIKE, that EXCESSIVE RUNNING SPEED & BULL-PUSH (forcing the bending pole forward) are the primary avoidable sources causing the transformation of flexible vaulting poles into DEADLY WEAPONS. Due to the fact that this event is dominated by a insidious alliance which has metastasized into the malevolent monster that continues to thrive within the international sports community, unhibited to this day, our prophetic warnings have been maliciously stifled for decades while preventable catastrophes continue with impunity.

Air Strike Eagle

Safety Forum
Unlike firearms, deadly vaulting poles have NO LIMIT on quantities that can be sold to any individual or any institution. No background investigations. No age restrictions. No mental stability requirements. NO DUE DILIGENCE AT ALL! These lethal weapons can be sold to ANYONE of ANY AGE without scrutiny or government intervention. Any minor child, any criminal, any mental patient, anyone who can pay the money is availed the freedom to own as many of these lethal instruments as they desire. Any adult may provide these deadly weapons legally to any minor. For example, as shown in the promotional images below, vaulting pole providers PROFIT from supplying these lethal weapons to naive minor children they target by luring gullible youth into becoming "wannabe" participants in this deadly MISeducated event. Judging by the content of "pole vault camp" solicitations, what are these naive minors actually being taught at today's high-priced "pole vault camps"? What is the REAL purpose of these "camps"? To see for yourself, click on the images below.

“Drive wedges between parents and their children...” (Dr. Ben Carson, 2024, communist objectives in America)

Click Image Click Image

While school administrations in the United States continue to avoid the fact that minor boys and girls are sacrificial victims of preventable injuries resulting from the misuse of VAULTING POLES (historically proven deadly weapons), there are also other serious consequences taking place right under everyone's nose. Lethal universal PARENT IGNORANCE allows these deadly "influencers" access to easily manipulated children for other sinister purposes. As shown in their own decadent promotional videos, there is clear intent to manipulate children by undermining respect for parental authority. All of this, while school authorities soil their underwear at the thought that a water pistol might be discovered on campus.

Combined with the preceeding, will the following printed facts and distinctly incriminating video documentation persuade you to believe that sports equipment Goliath, UCS, along with other manufacturers, such as ESSX (pictured above), KNOWINGLY participate in PROMOTING CONCEPTS THAT INJURE ATHLETES, AS WELL AS DELIBERATE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR HIGH-PRICED LETHAL PRODUCTS, at the peril of intentionally misinformed victims? Please, let me know what you conclude after objectively listening to, watching and reading, the unimaginable facts for yourself.


Several years ago, I came across the below St. Petersburg Times article: "The deadliest sport in America” (published March 12, 2002). The article mentions ONLY TWO preventable deaths that year, when, in fact, there is much left out of this story, including the malevolent motives behind the existence of this ongoing engineered profit-based CRISIS. It is very important to understand, besides the TWO AVOIDABLE FATALITIES of Jesus Quesada, 16, and Kevin Dare, 19, (the individual deaths noted in this St. Petersburg Times article), there were additionally TWO MORE DEATHS along with TWO OTHER PERMANENTLY DISABLING INCIDENTS resulting the same year. Thus, there were actually at least FOUR FATALITIES combined with TWO MORE MAJOR LIFE-ALTERING AVOIDABLE CATASTROPHES that occurred in 2002 alone. The avoidable CAUSE, in EVERY INSTANCE, is the MISUSE of FLEXIBLE vaulting poles due to IMPROPER EDUCATION. The same lethal misinformation is still being propagated by USATF, NCAA, NFHS and UCS principals today.

St Petersburg Times
To see the article, click here.

More than 98% of pole vault related deaths and catastrophic injuries combined are inflicted upon easily deceived ignorant teenagers!

Relating to pole vault, "CHILD ENDANGERMENT" earnestly begins the moment minor boys and girls are wrongfully "CONVINCED" to believe that achieving "HEIGHT" (by any means possible) is to be their primary "OBJECTIVE!" The deadliest term, to which naive "young vaulters" are exposed, is "Personal Record." As an example, in 1979, prematurely attempting a lower height than the current high jump record, a 14 year old child was killed pole vaulting. The most lucrative money-making idiom for POLE VAULT PROFITEERS is "PR" (Personal Record). It is nearly impossible to watch a pole vault video, or attend any related event, without hearing the proliferation of the dangerously propagandized term, "PR" (Personal Record). PLEASE, WATCH THESE VIDEOS! For me, after decades of witnessing and SPEAKING OUT AGAINST this despicable behavior, it is obvious that the self-serving racketeers taking advantage of vulnerable children will NOT VOLUNTARILY TERMINATE their ongoing malfeasance.



Together with the above evidence from "UCS Spirit" promotional video clips, the following image, recorded January 14, 2024, comes directly from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) website via the principals in charge of the "UCS Spirit" National Pole Vault Summit. The organization's official statement is intended clearly for the purpose of "CYA" as follows: "Unfortunately, eliminating injuries in the pole vault is not going to happen, especially with young vaulters." The National Federation of State High School Associations' fatalist prediction confirms that UCS, NFHS, NCAA and USATF PRINCIPALS have full knowledge they are promoting misinformation endangering 100% of their gullible victims, particularly "young vaulters," who naively dare to risk employing deadly UCS, NFHS, NCAA and USATF misconceptions to prematurely attempt "HEIGHTS" that are beyond their skill levels! This is the REAL REASON "young vaulters" face the highest percentages of danger. To these organizations, I have suggested addressing the most critical safety solution they KNOWINGLY refuse to acknowledge: STOP SEDUCING YOUNG ACOLYTES into wrongfully believing HEIGHT trumps proper EXECUTION!


To see WHY & HOW "young vaulters" are the primary victims of UCS, NFHS, NCAA and USATF NEGLIGENCE, you need look no further than favored lawyer, Russ VerSteeg, who himself boasts, he is a hand-picked UCS/USATF pole vault "expert" and has performed multiple "safety presentations" for "UCS Spirit" in Reno, Nevada. You also could keep in mind that Coach VerSteeg, together with 1972 Olympic pole vaulter, Jan Johnson, are both part of a team of "expert" witnesses that testify as OPPOSITION against ANY INJURED "young vaulter" who dares to legally challenge their "insider" cabal.

Click the underlined "Russ VerSteeg" link to see "USATF CERTIFIED POLE VAULT SAFETY EXPERT" Russ VerSteeg unequivocally tell his FIRST-DAY student, "The principle danger in the pole vault is, uhm, falling from a height. About once a year, uhm, someone dies doing this." Then, incredibly, VerSteeg, in the very same video, despite the risk of LETHAL injury threatening his first-day student, turns around and tells her the following: "I'm gonna teach ya how to pole vault today. We're gonna see how HIGH we can get ya up in the air!" This is the most lethal peril "young vaulters" are consistently enticed to encounter.

In the following video, you will see 2002 teenage victim of lethal pole vault negligence, Brandon White. Brandon was permanently paralyzed while attempting the same negligent USATF, NCAA, NFHS & UCS pole vault methods that continue being indoctrinated by these organizations still today. Russel VerSteeg and Jan Johnson have the distinction of being two of the "expert" witnesses OPPOSING Brandon White in his court case. The following interview was recorded in 2017 during a segment on New York FOX 5, co-hosted by Greg Kelly. Greg asked Brandon: "How did it come… that you became wheelchair bound?" Brandon's response: "I was pole vaulting when I was 18 years old. Track & Field event. So, I just went up and missed the… missed the… came right back down, missed the mats and landed in the metal box where you plant the pole." ALL of this needless PAIN and AGONY that has been SUFFERED by every naive VICTIM, including Brandon White and every parent, was so easily AVOIDABLE!

M Toledo Tux
My name is Michael Thomas Toledo. Early in 1991, following the personal advice of two "world-renowned" USA pole vault coaches (Bob Fraley of Fresno State University and Don Hood of Abilene Christian University), I became a first-time buyer of a "UCS Spirit" fiberglass vaulting pole purchased for my son from UCS, Carson City, Nevada. Since then, UCS (United Canvas & Sling) has become, by far, the world's #1 producer of DEADLY vaulting poles while concurrently becoming "Official Supplier" to USATF (United States of America Track & Field organization). Coincidentally, UCS principals have also taken over complete DOMINATION of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) pole vault certification program. From the earliest moments the "UCS Spirit" pole was implemented by my son, lethal safety issues started to surface. Immediately, I began attempting to correspond with UCS principals who simply "turned a deaf ear" to my concerns. Beginning in 1991, more than three decades ago, UCS sports equipment manufacturing principals within the TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX have exerted extraordinary effort to avoid eliminating preventable deadly pole vault hazards I've exposed. These are some of the resulting facts:


Common sense dictates that there are at least FORTY-EIGHT PARENTS who've experienced the devastating loss of the 24 young men listed above. The average length of time these 24 young fatalities lived on this earth, is just a mere 17 years. There is likely a 100% CHANCE that the parents of these deceased young men were intentionally prevented from ever becoming aware of the damning knowledge I've acquired. ANY single death is ONE TOO MANY, yet, UCS, NCAA, NFHS, USATF and "celebrated" hand-picked derelict coaches, such as Shawn Michael Francis and Mr. Russ VerSteeg, continue covering up the KNOWN cause of these tragedies. As you will learn in the next video, the confirmed deaths listed above offer just a glimpse into this preventable injurious calamity resulting from the malfeasance festering within these organizations.


The two “insiders” (featured in the video below) are Barry P. Boden, Orthopedic Surgeon (American Journal of Sports Medicine) and Jan Johnson, "expert" pole vault coach, each promoting Johnson's latest income-creating brainchild, the "soft plant box." Boden and Johnson are described by the interviewer as, "the two most important people in the sport of pole vaulting." Dr. Boden also showers Johnson with praise by adding, "Jan is definitely the guru and the expert in every possible way when it comes to pole vaulting." Contributing in regard to his own infinite expertise, Johnson states, "I've seen several really major bad pole vault accidents, uh, where people were seriously hurt, with my own eyes. Ahh, a couple of 'em at my own camps..." Why does Jan Johnson openly boast about hurting his own students?


Oddly enough, in this same video, Dr. Boden and Jan Johnson actually chronicle the fact that Jan Johnson's teachings generate avoidable LETHAL HAZARDS which result in producing vast money-making opportunities for track & field industrial complex "insiders." Boden and Johnson themselves go on to ADMIT that at least 80% of Johnson's students fall into the plant box while Johnson devises unending "equipment fixes" of which Johnson patents, introduces, promotes, changes "rules" and, ultimately, ENJOYS PROFITS! My experience with Jan Johnson is firsthand, as I initially met him in 1991 when my own son became one of many naive teenagers who've PAID to attend Jan Johnson's toxic Sky Jumpers Pole Vault Camps. Johnson often brags he has single-handedly taught his lethal methods to tens of thousands of pole vaulters over the past 50 years. This is Johnson's lucrative livelihood. In Johnson's own words: "It's hard to believe you could make a career out of that!" These are truly villainous accomplices. Don't just believe me, please, WATCH!

Referring to pole vault, Dr. Boden states, "the instance [number of injuries per participant] was actually the highest of any sport prior to 2003..." Keep in mind here, that by 2003, Jan Johnson had already been coaching his lethal pole vault methods for more than TWO DECADES! What were the results? In collaboration, taking advantage of their high "instance" data, Boden and Johnson now initiated rule changes in 2003 that TRIPLED PRICES of landing mats while increasing mat sizes only "68%." This means that a 200% "PRICE" INCREASE was conjunctive with a disproportionate 68% "SIZE" INCREASE. While orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Barry P. Boden (American Journal of Sports Medicine), together with Jan Johnson focus primarily on "equipment" shortfalls and reiterating that Johnson is the greatest "expert" of all time, each has full knowledge that pole vault MISEDUCATION IS ACTUALLY THE MOST CATASTROPHIC FACTOR they are avoiding! WHY would they NOT rather be keenly focused on refining inferior technique? $$$ Persistent to this very day, Dr. Barry Boden and Coach Jan Johnson are still flagrantly pushing high-priced "equipment" fixes while purposely overlooking the PRIMARY PROBLEM: THEIR DEADLY DEFECTIVE POLE VAULT METHODS!

You can search the Internet to see for yourself multiple related products Jan Johnson has financial interest in promoting. Boden and Johnson (8:12 in the video above) also employ the threat of "catastrophes" to wield fear tactics they've contrived by expressing special urgency! NOT installing Johnson's latest BOX INVENTION guarantees the deadly consequence that, "if an athlete were to fall from 12 feet 5 inches, there would be a 100% probability of a fatality" in ALL plant boxes Johnson wants to replace with HIS OWN. Dr. Barry Boden follows up by stating that "80%" of Jan Johnson's pole vaulters (more than "5000" surveyed) have fallen into the "vault box." Someone should ask them: "WHY are 80% of Jan Johnson's pole vault students falling into the plant box?" The following Jan Johnson quotation constitutes one of Johnson's most sadistic perversions:


Pole Vault Jan Johnson  Pole Vault Jan Johnson

Does "pole vault expert" Jan Johnson actually believe outcomes of this deadly event be determined upon LUCK? Any rational human being might THINK "PROPER TRAINING to achieve CONTROLLED SKILLS is the intelligent determinant! NOT LUCK!" Dr. Boden also specifically states, "You gotta remember, for every catastrophic injury, there's probably hundreds, thousands even, of non-catastrophic injuries..." and "80% landing in that box, there's going to be a lot of other injuries occurring..." I wrote to Dr. Barry Boden this certified letter (January of 2016) concerning his and Johnson's pole vault misinformation and I've never received any response.


Undaunted, by even the self-exposed hazardous consequences their lethal teachings produce, these corrupt characters remain "laser focused" on proposing expensive "EQUIPMENT" alterations upon which they can capitalize while knowingly encouraging their DEADLY FLAWED pole vault METHODS to continue. Johnson himself solemnly states, in the video above, his belief that it will take another "DEATH" to help him "sell" his latest "product." To further quote Johnson, "We need to hurt somebody!" The fact is, while POLE VAULT MISEDUCATION HURTS ATHLETES intentional MISeducation remains a proven "MONEY-MAKER" for elite Track & Field Industrial Complex INSIDERS!

The following video, featuring Jan Johnson, is from a June 27, 2023, interview. In it, you will see Johnson brag that he's been an "expert" witness in "forty or fifty" pole vault accident cases over the past "forty or fifty years." What Johnson omits is that he is infamous for OPPOSING HIS VICTIMS in court cases. I am not aware of any case of his "forty or fifty" in which Johnson is the "expert" witness FOR A VICTIM! Further down on this webpage, are the details describing one of his most infamous court cases in which Johnson emphatically CASTIGATES HIS PERMANENTLY PARALYZED VICTIM! Jan Johnson and his "legal team" cohorts are documented actually accusing their victim, Brandon White, of "faking" the paralysis caused by his avoidable 2002 injury. You can see White for yourself, still "wheelchair-bound," being interviewed on Fox5 TV, Feb 26, 2018, at this link: BD White.

"There's a special place in HELL for Jan Johnson!" (Mother of Robert Zhongjie Yin - 2022)

If you are a responsible parent, educator, publisher, medical professional, school administrator, athletic director, coach, or any rational person concerned for the well-being of gullible athletes and you want to join in ending this obvious child endangerment, please, share these ultimately life-saving details. It is crucial that vulnerable decathletes and all other wannabe pole vaulters know how to avoid preventable catastrophic injuries that have produced abundant needless human suffering associated with NEGLIGENT pole vault MISEDUCATION. My mission is revealing to the world HOW TO POLE VAULT correctly while exposing the deadly ongoing corruption infecting this event that has produced horrific easily avoidable catastrophic consequences.



I can prove to you that LETHAL TEACHINGS purposely advancing preventable POLE VAULT CATASTROPHES continue being embraced by TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX "ELITES" around the world! I realize your time is valuable, thus, I will show you as quickly as possible the appalling facts as to how and why, what I am telling you is taking place. I will immediately expose to you a featured "EXPERT" speaker at multiple UCS National Pole Vault Summits, Shawn Michael Francis, who gleefully provides shocking answers to my intensely disturbing questions. The annual UCS National Pole Vault Summit is the largest pole vault MISEDUCATION symposium in the world, hosting thousands of gullible attendees each year who actually depart the symposium more deadly ignorant than when they arrive. Shown in his own videos, Coach Shawn Francis, serving simultaneously as both UCS "poster boy" & UCS "jester," makes it clear that he and his cohorts view preventable pole vault dangers as a self-enriching deadly JOKE!

First, the following video will confirm for you WHERE my journey began in 1991 and reiterates WHY the SAME "wrong-way" pole vault methods, that the Track & Field Industrial Complex continues PUSHING to this day, need to be terminated. "Coach" Shawn Francis (featured in this video) is one of many deadly influencers focusing on their fixation of achieving HEIGHT WITHOUT FORM while applying the DEADLY FORMULA of TEACHING FAST RUNS & BULL-PUSH of lethal flexible vaulting poles. These mockingbirds and parrots repeat the same lethal objectives without pause: "PR, Height, PR, Height, PR, Height..."

pole vault 1991

Please, ask yourself this logical question: How is it, during decades of preventable catastrophes being intentionally allowed to continue, the PRICE OF POLES, plus the SIZE & COST of landing mats have INCREASED DRAMATICALLY while DEADLY TRADITIONAL POLE VAULT METHODS HAVE PURPOSELY REMAINED UNCHANGED? Answer: "The intentional propagation of lethal 'traditional' pole vault methods creates PERPETUAL NECESSITY FOR NEWER MORE EXPENSIVE REMEDIES." For example, "traditional" wrong-way FLEXIBLE POLE teachings of lethal "RECOIL" above the runway and plant box have persisted uninhibited for over 70 years, with the blessing of the Track & Field Industrial Complex, in spite of the 1992 introduction of our revolutionary Air Strike Pole Vault solutions depicted here:

Jan Johnson Pole Vault  Air Strike vs Wrong-Way  Air Strike Pole Vault


It is simply a irrefutable fact that, had obviously lethal WRONG-WAY pole vault methods been displaced by our proper, safer and efficient pole vault technique, decades ago, the permanent fabricated requisite for a never-ending plethora of new, higher priced, redundant protective equipment innovations could have been eliminated along with ending countless deaths and preventing thousands more needless injuries. As an example of FAKE remedies, with regard to preventable POLE-BREAKS, ALL of the limitless expansion of foam-padded surfaces will NEVER FIX this specific problem! Avoidable POLE-BREAKS are solved with the application of PROPER POLE VAULT TECHNIQUE while simultaneously ENDING FULL-SPEED approach runs & the "BULL-PUSH" of flexible poles.

Next, is a video shamelessly promoting dangerous UCS pole-breaks directly from the mouth of UCS poster boy and DEADLY JESTER, Coach Shawn Michael Francis. You can see and hear the disturbing facts for yourself in this brief video. DON'T BELIEVE ME... JUST WATCH as the lethal "genius" himself says the following words:


UCS pole vault video


A glaring clue as to WHY the LOVE FEST exists between UCS National Pole Vault Summit principals and YouTube star, Shawn Francis, is that the vast majority of vaulting poles Coach Francis ENCOURAGES his gullible "victims" to BREAK are sold by UCS manufacturing. What's the average price? Each broken UCS vaulting pole sells for well over $600 a pop. This overt gross negligence not only creates hazards for vaulting poles but, more significantly, this needless stupidity produces deadly perils for pole vaulters...

"100 out of 100 pole vaulters have had some kind of accident in their careers." (Paul Terek 2002 #6 National Vaulter - see article)

2020 UCS National Pole Vault Summit


Coach Shawn Francis couldn't be sitting at the UCS National Pole Vault Summit "EXPERTS" table simply because he is extremely INFLUENTIAL to UCS PROFITS as he brazenly ENCOURAGES his ignorant "minions" to BREAK UCS poles, could he? This is NOT FUNNY! It is despicable conduct! UCS openly participating in this behavior reflects that UCS principals COULD NOT CARE LESS about teenagers they and their influencer puppets are harming. These amoral miscreants are primarily concerned with their own perverted egotistical inclinations and little else! Go ahead, see for yourself by watching this video (if you are of age)!

UCS pole vault video

Francis is just one of many like-minded deadly "profiteers" aiding and abetting lethal "traditional" pole vault teachings instigated by the UCS sports equipment company, USATF and other participants in their corrupt cabal. Jan Johnson (1972 Olympic medalist), USATF "guru" and superb lethal "misinformation" promoter, proudly brags on video in 2021, "I'm a guy that broke several poles." Coach Johnson also pompously states with billowing pride, "I've probably seen hundreds of poles break." Jan Johnson is a well-seasoned pole vault profiteer who has, for decades, shamelessly benefited himself financially from the ignorance of "thousands" of his own clueless TEENAGE victims (one of those being my own son). All the while sporting goods manufacturers openly provide exclusive "PERKS" to these unscrupulous promoters of needless human catastrophe with impunity.


UCS pole vault video

Steve Chappell (mentioned again by Coach Francis in the above video), was invited into the UCS organization in the late 1980s, by Jeff Schwartz, original UCS co-founder. A "shady" situation, the "Pacer" brand name (in the Francis video) was part of a "deal" that galled Gill Athletics, after being "given a bum steer." The details of the 1980s "deal" were gleefully recounted by Steve Chappell's spouse on her personal "blog" years ago. Please, click here to see my November 25, 2014, seven-page letter to Jeff Schwartz which exposes additional disturbing facts. After a telephone conversation with Mr. Schwartz and his receipt of my letter, there was never any response from the "good" Mr. Schwartz nor from any other principal of the UCS manufacturing company.

It is a hideous fact that MORE than 98% of pole vault related DEATHS and CATASTROPHIC injuries combined are inflicted upon easily deceived ignorant TEENAGERS while Track & Field Industrial Complex "ELITES" KNOWINGLY propagate LETHAL misinformation.

Every deadly vaulting pole carries a “WARNING” label that manufacturers believe is iron-clad protection against LIABILITY! Thus, with NO FEAR of being held accountable, sports equipment manufacturers brazenly promote and condone LETHAL pole vault procedures that increase hazards and breakage probabilities of their extremely precarious vaulting poles. Shown here is a facsimile of the "WARNING" label on the UCS Spirit vaulting pole I purchased from UCS in 1991:

UCS Spirit Pole Vault Warning Label

You can see more of my futile attempts to communicate with avoidant UCS pole manufacturing principals referring to the UCS "WARNING" sticker on the pole I purchased when you click here. I emphasized the following facts in a December 8, 2014, certified letter mailed to UCS Spirit pole manufacturers:

"your company's 'WARNING' label (attached to the pole vault pole I purchased in 1991) should also mention the two deadliest threats in 'traditional' pole vault teachings to AVOID are the following, as these senseless flaws convert flexible vaulting poles into DEADLY WEAPONS: 1. FULL-SPEED Approach Runs   2. PRESSING Flexible Poles Forward" (Michael Thomas Toledo, December 8, 2014)

UCS pole vault video

Why would the world's leading pole vault pole manufacturer, UCS Spirit, NOT even consider looking into the actual ROOT CAUSE of catastrophic pole vault injuries for which their product is integral? I am a real-life consumer whose real-life teenage son was jeopardized by the vaulting pole UCS sold me! We are two amongst thousands who've been subjected to needless risk and suffering as the direct consequence of this organization's intentional deception. Any responsible person should be alarmed KNOWING such fatal gross negligence is rampant within the expansive corrupt confines of the INTERNATIONAL TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

“Those who govern and/or control equipment specifications, pole vault education, safety regulations, access to equipment and equipment prices, if void of moral principles, shall be those who unscrupulously seize the lion's share of influence and/or monetary profit relative to the event of pole vault.” (Michael Thomas Toledo, 2014)


At the 2014 UCS Summit, where I was treated as a pariah, my interactions with featured speakers and UCS principals proved to be a pointless waste of my time and effort. It was obvious that UCS principals are in full control of the minions over whom they rule within a subordinate "pole vault community" where UCS dictates "marching orders" to mis-educators, rule-makers and news media zealots who cow down as they fearfully follow UCS dictums religiously.


21 year-old Kira Grunberg, Austrian female athlete and European Championships pole vault finalist, was PARALYZED July 30, 2015, while attempting the "TRADITIONAL BULL-PUSH" of a UCS Spirit "competition" vaulting pole. Applying deadly "traditional" UCS pole vault methods, Kira Grunberg unwittingly volunteered herself to be one more gullible victim of negligent "traditional" teachings. PLEASE, invest a few minutes to watch my following video, published December 9, 2015, proving HOW & WHY Kira's catastrophic injury was entirely avoidable:

Kira Grunberg Pole Vault Video


Coach David Butler

December 2014, Rice University pole vault coach, David Butler, "UCS Spirit" criminal negligence enabler and USA National Pole Vault Development Staff member, had the means to prevent Kira's horrible tragedy. Instead, Kira's preventable disaster was purposely allowed to become further evidence exposing the barefaced criminality of self-absorbed track & field industrial complex "minions" (such as Butler) who continue to ignore my decades of warnings.

This pathetic human being is a prime example as to the degree of decay within the track & field industrial complex. The perverted "pole vault community" serves up this self-professed "genius" as one of its iconic coaches. WOW! They're NOT joking about this! It does NOT matter what level of stupidity these "experts" spew upon their ignorant followers, they still gain concocted praise and fallacious accolades. "You scratch mine and I'll scratch yours." These people are sick.

December 10, 2014, I received an email message from Rice University pole vault coach, David Butler, writing as a member of the USA National Pole Vault Development Staff. As it turns out, Mr. Butler is also a renowned lethal “traditional” pole vault “expert” who is closely associated with the principals involved in the manufacturing of UCS Spirit pole vault poles. The following day, December 11, 2014, after receiving the information that Mr. Butler had requested from me, Mr. David Butler (of Rice University and the USA National Pole Vault Development Staff) then emailed to me a sarcastically soiled condescending response to the facts I had provided him. I then responded to Mr. Butler that same day, December 11, 2014, as follows:

“I don’t know who you think you are, but, if you are so certain that your pole vault knowledge is so effective, let’s debate your ideas while ALLOWING mine to also be heard. I invite you to meet me in person to 'put your money where you mouth is' and let me counter each of your 'expert' proven deadly misconceptions with my own proven facts. Otherwise, please don’t waste my time with your condescending childish close-minded deceptive behavior.” (Michael Thomas Toledo, 12/11/2014)

Additionally, seven months and two weeks preceding Kira Grünberg's senseless pole vault tragedy, seven days following my December 11, 2014, memorandum to Mr. Butler, I sent one more warning to Coach Butler on December 18, 2014, which clearly chronicles the reasons why the lethal “traditional” pole vault catastrophe that later paralyzed Kira Grünberg on July 30, 2015, was absolutely avoidable. My December 18, 2014, message to Coach Butler (to which he did not respond) contained my following statement of fact and solemn warning:

"This is NOT a joke. I don’t find anything regarding pole vault deaths and injuries to be amusing or profitable. I am deadly serious when I say 'There but for the grace of God go I' because it was the 'Grace of God' 23 years ago that blessed us with the wisdom to recognize your concepts are completely WRONG and INJURIOUS.” (Michael Thomas Toledo, 12/18/2014)

At 1:28 into the UCS Pole Vault Summit promotional video below (published within months after Kira's avoidable catastrophic injury), you can observe for yourself, Coach David Butler, UCS JESTER and LAPDOG, malevolently continue in 2016 to help promote lethal "UCS SPIRIT" products and negligent "UCS" pole vault teachings. In this UCS video, Coach Butler acts AS THOUGH HE'D NEVER BEEN WARNED BY ME months prior to Kira's avoidable UCS pole vault disaster of which Butler's email confirmed the man was fully aware as both a coaching participant and USA National Pole Vault Development Staff observer!


UCS Pole Vault Summit


The nauseous connections are abundant and produce too many sorted details for exposure right now, but I will unveil for you all of the revealing documentation, in addition to the following facts, very soon. In this example, VAULTER MAGAZINE, AUGUST 11, 2021, was informed by me that I am 100% certain "top-ranked" female pole vaulters Alysha Newman and Sandi Morris (among many others) can improve their vaults by more than TWO FEET within TWO WEEKS of properly applying my safer, efficient and easy to learn Air Strike methods. Each of these female pole vaulters possess far greater strength to bodyweight ratios than Cornelius Warmerdam ever had eighty years ago, yet, Cornelius Warmerdam consistently exceeded 36 inches between his grip height and his apex over a steel crossbar using a rigid bamboo stick.

Cornelius Warmerdam

To this day, using modern fiberglass poles, NOT EVEN ONE FEMALE pole vaulter has achieved apices anywhere near Warmerdam's! Why is that? READY and WILLING to put my money where my mouth is, I submitted ad copy to Doug Bouma, owner and publisher of Vaulter Magazine, to whom I would pay his full required monetary fees. After reading my ad copy, entirely intended for the purpose of saving lives and preventing senseless injuries, along with offering my services and facilities at no charge (FREE) to athletes, Mr. Bouma informed me that he is NOT interested in assisting me in my “mission” to improve this needlessly dangerous event. Result: NO VAULTER MAGAZINE AD SPACE FOR AIR STRIKE POLE VAULT!


Please, have an objective look at the comparisons between Cornelius Warmerdam's 1940s pole vault results using a bamboo stick (with NO landing mats) opposed to the results of the world's best 2019 MALE FLEXIBLE pole vaulter who descended gently onto gigantic foam padded landing areas. You will better understand WHY I am so confident that today's vaulters CAN improve so much, so quickly! I included this information with the documentation and ad copy I provided Vaulter Magazine. These mathematical comparisons expose the depth of DEFICIENCY rooted within LETHAL "traditional" flexible pole vault methods being purposely applied in the MISEDUCATION of athletes in a deadly game of deception.

Cornelius Warmerdam

While Track & Field Industrial Complex "insiders" intentionally PREVENT DEADLY pole vault MISEDUCATION from being replaced, they have IMPOSED ever-increasing gigantic expensive landing mats, powerful high-priced "competition" vaulting poles, rubber-tipped flexible crossbars, rubber runways, "box collars," then "soft boxes," etceteras... and this is the best they can pole vault? Of course it is! "Traditional" pole vault methods have proven themselves to be WRONG!

Here is a very visible clue as to WHY today's flexible pole vaulting results are disastrous: Any vaulter you see, still gripping the FLEXIBLE pole when the vaulter's feet are above the crossbar, is NOT properly utilizing the flexible pole as a spring. This visible result, has been the case since the early 1960s. Today's miseducated pole vaulters are simply implementing the pole's flexibility to increase grip height position (1960s style) while they accomplish little else. In every instance, you can see that the bulk of RECOIL energy is NOT PROPERLY UTILIZED as vaulters roll sideways, parallel to the ground plane while still gripping the pole.

bad mens pole vault bad mens pole vault bad mens pole vault bad mens pole vault

The powerful flexible pole's RECOIL (linear elastic behavior) is ALWAYS expended inefficiently as a result of wrong-way "traditional" vaulters NEVER being properly educated as to HOW FLEXIBLE POLES SHOULD BE CORRECTLY APPLIED. The modern-day miseducated vaulters you see here don't appear to have form that is too much different from Cornelius Warmerdam's (using bamboo) 80 years ago, do you think?

You can easily see in the video above (especially when the playback speed is slowed to 0.25) that EVERY vaulter ascends DIAGONALLY towards the crossbar. ALL of these vaulters are multiple universes away from properly COCKING their poles. It is also extremely common that the left thigh of right-handed vaulters hits the crossbar, or will come very close to it, as a consequence of the MISEDUCATED "traditional" vaulter's wrong-way diagonal ascent.

Questionable pole vault circumstances beg these logical questions: Why are Track & Field Industrial Complex "insiders" intentionally devoting their time and effort to PROMOTE PRIMITIVE LETHAL TEACHINGS? Why are TFIC "insiders" attempting to conceal the fact that better and safer AIR STRIKE pole vault teachings exist? What am I doing that so rattles the UCS clique "pole vault community"? Why would Vaulter Magazine's Doug Bouma NOT WANT my teenage son's successful life-saving concepts to be shared with Vaulter Magazine subscribers? WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO LOSE? What does Doug Bouma gain by partnering in a cover-up with UCS and the Track & Field Industrial Complex?


To add insult to injury, Vaulter Magazine's editor is silencing my factual observations regarding incriminating statements made by pole vaulter Chris Nilsen, Olympic silver medalist, proving my point. Regarding pole vault MISeducation, my statement to Mr. Bouma began with these words: “In 2021, it's disgraceful that Chris Nilsen describes his first pole vault experience (which was probably less than ten years ago) as...” Thus far, my reference doesn't seem too offensive, does it? Why would Mr. Bouma want to silence me? Now, here are Chris Nilsen's OWN WORDS describing his personal dangerous "traditional" negligent pole vault miseducation:

“I would go up, I would, I would take off, in the pole vault, and the pole would not move far enough into the pit and it would shoot me back out at the runway. I did that three times in a row my first day pole vaulting, and I asked my coach, uh, 'Miss Yuen,' I said, 'am I supposed to suck this bad?' and she's like, 'No, not really but I think if you keep at it, you'll be fine. I mean everybody gets better at it eventually.' I was like cool, okay. But that first day was very disheartening. I was like, man, this is like bad, bad.”

I followed the above with this quote from a news article published August 3, 2021, titled, “How vaulter Chris Nilsen went from 'he's going to hurt himself bad' to silver in Tokyo”:

“Fearless before he should have been, Nilsen then became an accident waiting to happen when he turned to pole vault guru Rick Attig after his sophomore year. At the first practice, his mother, Karen, recalled, Attig leaned over to Nilsen’s father, Mark, and said, 'He’s going to kill himself' doing this.”

Chris Nilsen, due to his pole vault miseducation and lack of intelligent execution, is vaulting far below his potential. All of my observations are based upon many decades of documented facts and my own firsthand interactions with Bob Mathias, Cornelius Warmerdam, Don Hood, Jeff Schwartz (UCS), Jan Johnson and many others.

“I haven't found any sports event that is so recklessly taught as pole vault. My mission is to eradicate 'traditional' miseducation and offer every athlete the opportunity to partake in our easy to execute, safer, superior Air Strike program.” (Michael Thomas Toledo)


Jan Johnson pole vault

It appears that Doug Bouma, owner & publisher of Vaulter Magazine, is trying to avoid my firsthand evidence proving “I haven't found any sports event that is so recklessly taught as pole vault.” With the introduction of Air Strike FLEXIBLE pole vault methods, documented in June of 1992, misconceived "NEED FOR SPEED" myths were PROVEN LETHAL and completely unnecessary! Yet, after more than 30 years have since passed, these influencers persist in KNOWINGLY and NEGLIGENTLY PUSHING THEIR DEADLY MISCONCEPTIONS!

How do you hold people accountable who have no shame, no morals?

It is simply unacceptable to stand by silently as the TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX continues arrogantly and vigorously advancing proven deadly pole vault procedures with impunity while naïve pole vault participants invest capital only to inevitably suffer avoidable hazardous consequences as the ultimate "price" paid for their profuse ignorance. Hurting people in order to profit from their victimization is wrong, doing it on purpose is CRIMINAL! Please, don't believe me... JUST WATCH!



Shown in the first video above, published in 2009, is a preventable "POLE-BREAK" graphically illustrating the results of ludicrous deadly Don Hood "teachings" to which my own son was perilously subjected before our "awakening" thirty years ago. Vaulters "BULL-PUSHING" flexing poles forward using their own "SPEED" is dangerous enough, BUT when "imbeciles" assist the deadly "BULL-PUSH" the hazards become exponential. Shown in the center video is Garrett Starkey performing "WRONG-WAY" pole vault that he was taught from the time he first learned to walk. Garrett incurs a graphic PREVENTABLE HEAD INJURY resulting from a "POLE-BREAK" while Garrett "BULL-PUSHES" the bending pole forward as it "COCKS" after a high-speed approach run. The far right video above features UCS Jester Coach, Shawn Francis, describing the form he likes to see just before a POLE SHATTERS into pieces. Below right you can see Coach Shawn Francis himself breaking a $640+ UCS Spirit vaulting pole using the same hazardous "BULL-PUSH" method Starkey applies. All of these LETHAL CONSEQUENCES speak for themselves!

bad mens pole vault bad mens pole vault team hoot pole vault

NOTE: Garrett STARKEY's "coaches" are his parents, Dean and Jill Starkey. BOTH parents are themselves former "ELITE" vaulters who profit by steering clear of "deadly" truth. In fact, at the time of his death, 1993 pole vault fatality, Wade Knutson, was Jill Starkey's college teammate (see article). You are seeing just the "tip of the iceberg" barely exposing the extraordinary volume of unmitigated abject stupidity thoroughly saturating deadly "traditional" pole vault philosophies. Keep in mind, established on a "risk to the user per-application" basis, misused fiberglass vaulting poles are the most lethal weapons ever created by human hands. WARNING: FLEXIBLE VAULTING POLES ARE NOT HARMLESS TOYS that can be carelessly implemented without deadly consequences!

bad mens pole vault bad mens pole vault


Today's INTERNET flagrantly reveals abundant PERILOUS WORLDWIDE "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT BUFFOONERY as expressed in the video images above. One of the most potentially LETHAL BUFFOONS I've ever encountered is 2020 UCS POLE VAULT SUMMIT "EXPERT" GUEST, Coach Shawn Francis. Coach Francis claims a following of 7000 "YouTube" subscribers. In addition to Francis, Coach Jan Johnson is another highly acclaimed negligent buffoon who boasts that he teaches lethal "traditional" pole vault methods to between 500 and a 1000 of his own "victims" annually! The magnitude of arrogant, self-admiring imbeciles flourishing within the Track & Field Industrial Complex is only rivaled by the vastness of ignorant victims they continue to procure and defraud.

Jan Johnson pole vault  shawn francis pole vault

Dean Starkey, Garrett's father, was mentored by Jan Johnson in the 1990s. Coaches Jan Johnson and Shawn Francis are simply two amongst a multitude of grossly negligent "experts" who are KNOWINGLY promoting fatal "TRADITIONAL" pole vault teachings that, for goodness' sake, MUST be TERMINATED!


NOT ONE "TRADITIONAL" pole vault "EXPERT" has been willing to debate face-to-face with me. Certainly, it could not be that these folks are intimidated by my evidence-based life-saving pole vault knowledge which exposes their gross negligence? ANY “expert” profoundly devoted to “traditional” pole vault theory is welcome to a dialogue with me in which she, or he, can voice her, or his, “expert” opinion while allowing me to present my evidence to the contrary. WHY ARE THEY SO AFRAID OF ME? As a prime example, one of these frightened lemmings, Shawn Michael Francis, UCS "expert" and "YouTube Jedi," banned me in June of 2017 from commenting on his fallacious videos while, at the same time, Coach Francis was stealing my pole vault innovations and intellectual properties. I sent Shawn Francis a letter (USPS Registered) dated, February 19, 2021, in which I stated, "You've hijacked my pole vault information while you state, simultaneously, 'it doesn't work.' Before this goes further, why don't we discuss it?" I have since NEVER received word from UCS pole vault "expert" Coach Francis. Therefore, I've created the following video for everyone to see the evidence that FRANCIS IS FULLY AWARE AIR STRIKE METHODS SOLVE DEADLY POLE VAULT PROBLEMS:

UCS pole vault video

Doctors of Medicine, Esquires, PhDs, Masters degree holders, etceteras, have all ignored my written requests. I'm under the impression these highly "educated" intellectuals might actually FEEL they have something to FEAR. They know they can't debate with me as I represent LIFE-SAVING truth, logic and common sense! As another example of this group's pompous gross negligence, please, watch this next video carefully while you fully comprehend the lethal result of Coach Francis' blatant grossly negligent advice: "My number one rule in pole vault is DO NOT LET GO OF THE POLE!" Following Coach Francis' advice, the gullible vaulter in this video does not let go of the pole. Please, don't believe me... JUST WATCH to see what happens for yourself!

UCS pole vault video


To see disturbing facts related to this case, you can peruse www.polevaultpower.com which is operated by Rebecca G. Peter, who is tightly interlaced with Dr. Barry P. Boden and the American Journal of Sports Medicine. I wrote to Dr. Boden on January 19, 2016. The letter I sent Dr. Boden contains the following significant statement:

"If you are genuinely concerned, as I am, you can choose to join me in constructive dialogue for the purpose of exposing the TRUTH regarding the factual reasons preventable pole vault catastrophes have continued to occur. Alternatively, you might choose to conceal the truth while ignoring my facts by 'turning a deaf ear.'" (Michael Thomas Toledo, January 19, 2016)

It's been more than 5 years and I've NEVER received response from the "concerned" orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Barry Boden. In 2021, the "good" Dr. Boden is still blatantly propagating deadly "traditional" pole vault propaganda as the closed-minded scholar continues his lethal collaboration with Jan Johnson, Dr. Boden's spurious "expert" confidante.

Dr. Boden and Rebecca G. Peter are not only extremely close-knit with Jan Johnson, the star they "worship" as their world's foremost pole vault "guru," they also maintain other "influencers" within their tight circle of "privileged" individuals. Jan Johnson and another close associate, J. Russell VerSteeg (pole vault expert & sports law professor), are documented as court co-witnesses in opposition to Brandon White, one of their 2002 permanently disabled victims. Peter's site lists one-sided posts denouncing their adolescent "traditional" pole vault victim as the vile villain in the $6,400,000 lawsuit WON by the former teenage permanent paraplegic casualty. Included are contemptuous comments posted by the attorney who opposed White's case in court where USA TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX comrades ganged up AGAINST Brandon. You can see for yourself a "FOX 5" (New York) 2017 Greg Kelly interview of "wheelchair-bound" Brandon (BD White) if you click here.

The following quote is from Rebecca G. Peter. Her incisive words confirm that the main objective of Peter and her malevolent allies is certainly NOT the elimination of the entirely preventable consequences that paralyzed two pole vault victims and killed four others in 2002. No, in Peter's circle, the forever altered life of 18 year-old Brandon White did not deserve restitution for the gross negligence of TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX "insiders." Peter is crystal clear in communicating that she is PRIMARILY CONCERNED only with the threat that the successful legal action of Brandon White could cause a rise in USATF "insurance rates" which might negatively affect the overseers' "bottom line."

"Does this lawsuit matter? You bet it does. This could potentially make USATF's insurance rates increase. It could make it much harder for entities not using USATF (like schools) to get liability insurance. We had better all pray that this can somehow be overturned on appeal." (Posted by "rainbowgirl28" aka Rebecca G. Peter, www.polevaultpower.com, May 15, 2009)

Keep in mind that Rebecca G. Peter and the pole vault industrial complex profit from their promotion of lethal "traditional" pole vault absurdity. These aloof miscreants DESIRE that status quo remain as is. I have all of the real history, all the real facts, all the data. The cowardly influencers involved in the USA Track & Field pole vault industrial complex CAN'T debate with me. They are allergic to all of the historical and current information I possess. But the truth will get out there, in spite of these terrified ghouls who hide in fear, petrified of TRUTH, while cowering together to avoid any confrontation with proven lethal facts revealing their overwhelming deadly gross negligence.



UCS pole vault video

Sam Kendricks, Summer Olympics 2016 Pole Vault bronze medalist in Rio de Janeiro, brazenly brags of his deep admiration for farcical UCS JESTER and lethal "traditional" pole vault idiot, Shawn Michael Francis. See for yourself Sam Kendricks' nonsensical comments regarding UCS DEADLY BUFFOON, Coach Francis, Sam's hilarious pole vault "buddy," at this link: click here and go to 25 seconds. These videos confirm that there exists a lethal "mutual admiration society" entrenched in pure abject pole vault stupidity! Is it any wonder that, in another of his videos, Sam Kendricks states, "My mamma was worried about me." (click here and go to 20 seconds) "I had broken four poles in a season and it was all very startling..." "I was still comin' home with stitches."

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Sam, please, tell me WHY and HOW it is possible that you BROKE FOUR vaulting poles in one season? OH! WAIT! WHAT'S THIS? Your video at the following link answers my question: Click here and go to 52 seconds where you will see for yourself Sam Kendricks regurgitate one of the top LETHAL "TRADITIONAL" pole vault misconceptions of all time, when he says, "The most important aspect of our event is SPEED. So, the faster athlete is always gonna have an advantage right off the bat." Along with the deadly "traditional" SPEED myth, Sam compounds the perils that endanger himself and other naive athletes by also promoting the senseless "traditional" forward BULL-PUSH of flexible vaulting poles stating, "It's how I PUSH the right forces into the pole." Please, don't believe me... JUST WATCH!

UCS pole breaks after High Speed Run


By the time June of 1992 arrived, Chris Toledo had experienced many, many, many unnecessary falls attempting lethal "traditional" pole vault teachings. Shown below are several, of the many, unwarranted and dangerous disasters that Chris survived using methods propagated by Track & Field Industrial Complex "expert" elites. After wasting time and money on expensive "traditional" detrimental pole vault camps and MISinformation, we finally created our own solutions that prevent the circumstances of these and countless other lethal avoidable catastrophes.

Chris Toledo FSUChris Toledo Pole Vault
Chris Toledo Pole VaultChris Toledo Pole Vault

Inside of 12 MONTHS, we accomplished MORE to IMPROVE this event than “TRADITIONAL” pole vault “EXPERTS” have throughout entire careers! So, WHY has the TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (over the past thirty years) censored our life-saving AIR STRIKE POLE VAULT information?

Pole Vault - Air StrikePole Vault - Air StrikePole Vault - Air Strike


There is no other HIGH-COST sports event in the world in which "insiders" arrogantly gain advantages more obvious than those of POLE VAULT. Over 100 years of documentation validates individuals with unique private access to taxpayer-funded public facilities command immense benefits from which "outsiders" are excluded. As an example, when your father is your public high school's track coach and you have daddy's exclusive access to high-priced equipment/facilities whenever you desire (i.e. Shawn Michael Francis), "YOU" win! Research for yourself these other "family" names: Duplantis, Kendricks, Lightfoot, Lavillenie, Barber, (Jan) Johnson, Starkey, Chappell, (Bob) Fraley, (Ron) Morris, (Bob) Richards, (Ralph) Smith. It's no "coincidence" that, in each case, there exists exclusive "elite" access to very exorbitant athletic facilities, abundant availability of expensive equipment, generations of FREE college education and secured easy income.

During the past 50 YEARS, the SIZE & PRICE of landing mats has INCREASED MASSIVELY while DEADLY POLE METHODS HAVE PURPOSELY REMAINED UNCHANGED! It's a very simple equation.

This reflects only a fraction of those who benefit from the NEPOTISM & CORRUPTION within track & field's industrial complex. This cabal of deadly narcissists will NEVER voluntarily relinquish their "golden goose" by dignifying my life-saving constructive concepts and pole vault safety solutions. Please, don't believe me... JUST WATCH!


50 Years You Can't Fix Stupid

Kevin Dare (pictured lower left in the image above) is one of the more significantly publicized of the numerous preventable fatal pole vault casualties. The words I've quoted below, are those of Kevin Dare's father, Ed, written 11 years after Kevin's avoidable 2002 life-ending catastrophe. Please, take note, at around the same time Ed Dare published his conclusions, Coach Rick Attig was commenting to Chris Nilsen's FATHER about Chris, "He's going to kill himself..." I don't know what your opinion is but, to me, Coach Rick Attig's comment, after the death of Kevin Dare and all the others, exposes a vile "BEAST" living within the "pole vault community" about which there is NOTHING FUNNY! Ed Dare was maliciously deceived into naively believing that Jan Johnson and other members of track & field's industrial complex actually "desire" to thoroughly eradicate deadly hazards that caused Ed's beloved teenage son to devolve into "just another profitable pole vault fatality." As I have stated repeatedly, Track & Field Industrial Complex "insiders" are heartless miscreants! The Dare family simply became unwitting additional victims of a senseless avoidable pole vault tragedy that occurred 10 YEARS AFTER the very same "insiders" had already been informed by me of our life-saving Air Strike methods:

"...please leave me out of pole vault safety and let me and my family live the rest of our lives forgetting about the most dangerous sport in the world and working with ego maniacs who could care less about protecting precious lives. I am done." (Ed Dare, November of 2013)


Ed Dare, was quoted in the news media as stating, "My son did not die in vain." The committed grieving father also said, "If I can help someone else save a life I will be at piece." Yet, Ed Dare surrendered. Although, Kevin Dare's family finally succumbed to the ILL-WILLED "powers that be," my mission persists in continuing to seek justice for every victim who has suffered the egregious consequences of this overt intentional deadly deception. One of my primary goals is to STOP THESE RUTHLESS COWARDS from inflicting further harm! I reiterate: It is simply unacceptable to stand by silently as the TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX continues KNOWINGLY advancing their proven deadly pole vault miseducation while mocking the victims who've suffered the pain of "knowingly" inflicted preventable tragedies. Again, please, don't believe me... JUST WATCH!

Running as fast as you can is LETHAL


Why would this recognized orthopedic surgeon show little concern as to the actual ROOT CAUSE of catastrophic pole vault injuries of which he publicly professes his abhorrence? Thus far, on this webpage, you've been subjected to obvious evidence of the intentional harm being inflicted by those in control of this event. I am a real-life consumer whose real-life teenage son was victimized by the abject stupidity this medical doctor continues to disgustingly proliferate while he has purposely ignored my attempts to communicate with him. My January 19, 2016 unanswered letter to Dr. Barry P. Boden of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, included the following paragraph:

"Ed Dare (the father of 2002 'pole vault death' victim, Kevin) and I have in common that we each had a 19-year-old son attempting to apply remiss deadly 'traditional' pole vault teachings. Kevin Dare is deceased. Christopher Toledo, my son, is NOT. The ONLY difference, between our significantly disparate results, is that Kevin Dare continued applying proven lethal 'traditional' pole vault methods that my son wisely STOPPED attempting more than a decade prior to Kevin Dare's death." (Michael Thomas Toledo, January 19, 2016)


pole vault video pole vault video pole vault video

It is all about the "currency" and TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX "insiders" have never been the least bit embarrassed about flagrantly helping themselves to as much as they can possibly grab! Please, ask yourself: WHY are ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS openly promoting LETHAL "traditional" pole vault methods that obviously inflict costly preventable catastrophic injuries onto ignorant teenagers? THINK ABOUT THAT!


On top of what you've seen already, Shawn Michael Francis (UCS JESTER) also has the unabashed Kendricks' blessing endorsing Francis' proven injurious LETHAL POLE VAULT "EXPERTISE" published in a book Francis sells for $49.99. Very reasonable price to pay for deadly misinformation, don't you think? I'm sure you will find this is a well-written endorsement by Kendricks, not to mention heartfelt and articulate. Notice that they specifically identify the "young vaulter" as their premeditated clueless target:

"Our friend Shawn Francis wrote this book. I would recommend if you’re a young vaulter if you don’t have a coach you better have this book. I mean, it’s really good. I bought one of the first copies." (Signed as: "Scott Kendricks 2x world champion, Olympic Bronze medalist pole vault coach and Father of Sam Kendricks")

Sam Kendricks and his dad, together with vaulting pole manufacturers, gullible pole vaulters and all participating grossly negligent coaches, medical doctors and other self-proclaimed "experts," have established their deadly opinions and unholy alliances based upon provably archaic "knowledge" that is deeply flawed. These closed-minded propagandists DEPEND on FINANCIAL INCOME involving their relationships within the TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. Do you think for a moment these people are concerned with changing the proven lethal "pole vault" environment? YES, they are very concerned, because they DON'T WANT ANY CHANGES!



Why would Dr. Spencer Chang openly display little concern as to the actual ROOT CAUSE of catastrophic pole vault injuries for which he publicly professes his desire to prevent? Dr. Chang continued personally "coaching" proven lethal "traditional" pole vault methods while ignoring legitimate facts presented by the real-life father of a teenager victimized by Dr. Chang's lethal teachings. The "good" Dr. Chang has also been provided "perks" as a "guest" and medical consultant of the UCS National Pole Vault Summit. WOW! You really don't need to be a "rocket scientist" to figure this out for yourself! Dr. Chang's activities have been so blatant, that even Spencer Chang's fellow orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Barry P. Boden, has publicly accused Dr. Chang of having a "conflict of interest" relating to UCS National Pole Vault Summit principals. In 2016, I ended my futile attempts to correspond with Dr. Spencer Chang, orthopedic surgeon, "insider" and University of Hawaii pole vault coach who has also worked with the national USA Track & Field Pole Vault Development Staff as a Medical Advisor. The final dismissed paragraph, which concluded my last futile attempt to communicate with Dr. Spencer Chang, stated the following words:

"This is my attempt to initiate a constructive dialogue with you regarding the degree of safety and factual validity relative to the accumulative consequences you and the others mentioned above are obviously failing to prevent." (Michael Thomas Toledo, January 9, 2016)

The certified letter I wrote to UCS SPIRIT pole manufacturers, December 8, 2014, contained my following logical and simple question regarding POLE VAULT SAFETY:

"Why are 'traditional' pole vault methods being allowed to continue while they are themselves the established inherent cause of avoidable pole vault catastrophic injuries and deaths?" (Michael Thomas Toledo, December 8, 2014)

Again, I must emphasize that WE, at "Air Strike," are the ONLY PROVEN contributors on the planet to have introduced TECHNIQUE remedies and safety solutions that completely ERADICATE deadly "traditional" pole vault stupidity. Yet, our life-saving information has NOT been welcomed by TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX "elites" who are well aware of our solutions. WHY IS THAT? It is obviously because this cabal of moral midgets continue to reap the self-aggrandizing benefits of "status quo" while cunningly avoiding jeopardizing their exclusive circumstances as they relentlessly continue to deceive fresh batches of gullible victims into ignorantly suffering the consequences. You might want to keep in mind that UCS is "Official Supplier" to the USATF organization while also a very influential NIKE affiliate.

Please, watch the following video to see IRREFUTABLE AIR STRIKE POLE VAULT PHYSICS expose arrogant "traditional" mass stupidity while our life-saving techniques stare the negligent TRACK & FIELD INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX in the face!



What pole vault "insiders" have been doing for decades is obviously wrong and provably hazardous. It is a given fact that, while decathletes are the greatest all-around athletes on the planet, hundreds of these supermen have been documented stating that there is only one event they typically fear: pole vault. As a prime example, during the 1956 Olympic Decathlon, one of the greatest athletes in sports history, Milton Gray Campbell, failed to set a new decathlon world record due to his disastrous performance in only one event of ten: POLE VAULT. It has been my real-life experience that 99.9999% of all athletes have always avoided pole vault simply because inept "traditional" coaches have NEVER taught the event safely and properly. Typical grossly negligent "traditional" coaching advice is, "Here's the pole. Now, run as fast as you can!" Obviously, that idiotic advice has proven devastatingly lethal to the health of naive athletes and very inhibitive to participation levels in the event!

Ironically, the same "traditional" abject stupidity, producing the current massive void in pole vault safety, avails favorable circumstances for the "outsiders" of today. It is a elementary fact that gymnasts, particularly female gymnasts, are the potential "sleeping giants" of this event (as it is now) simply because these unique athletes can more quickly master superior Air Strike techniques. These exclusive athletes are the antidote to deadly abject pole vault stupidity as all of the most challenging skills necessary for perfect Air Strike Pole Vault execution have already been successfully over-achieved by any gymnast certified level 4, or higher.

June of 1992 we successfully documented our revolutionary AIR STRIKE innovations demonstrating the only pole vault technique that enables vaulters to maneuver "flexed" vaulting poles into the manufacturer's specified "fully cocked" position from which inverted vaulters can "spring" vertically skyward safely above the landing mats. AIR STRIKE inherently eliminates the deadliest defects of "traditional" pole vault because vaulters no longer propel upward while suspended over the plant box. Propelling upward over the "box" has ALWAYS been the most flagrant "traditional" deadly pole vault flaw. Our intelligent elementary procedures simply produce safer and easier pole vault.


Several images below are my own animated illustrations in which Fig 002 & Fig 003 have backgrounds of sketches contained in a "traditionally" revered scientific report titled "IOC Medical Commission, Summer Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992, Biomechanical Analysis of the Pole Vault Event." The "IOC" (International Olympic Committee) references were first introduced to me in an email message I received from "experts" at "UST-Essx" vaulting pole makers. This company, UST-Essx, is a high-dollar business with which Sam Kendricks is commercially intertwined. Click here to see the "IOC" article "Cover page" which features an illustration of the ill-founded official "traditional" pole vault method that applies running speed and bull-push to INCORRECTLY load lethal flexible vaulting poles. As the academic study confirms, primitive "traditional" pole vault methods engage flexible vaulting poles as curved levers that recoil diagonally-forward while vaulters are dangerously above runways and plant boxes away from safe landing areas. These are truly abjectly stupid ideas that insanely apply 500 year-old "flexible" catapult principles of Leonardo da Vinci as depicted in his drawing shown below. You can clearly see the similarities between the da Vinci sketch and the pole-movements diagramed in the erroneous International Olympic Committee "study."

daVinci catapult

Contrarily, AIR STRIKE applies HORIZONTAL FLEXED POLE ROTATION to properly "COCK" flexible poles end-over-end vertically, as the pole's top tip crosses the "vertical threshold," which causes the upper portion of the pole to RECOIL SAFELY above the landing mats. The self-incriminating International Olympic Committee "Cover page" is listed at the top of the "academic study's" index page that will lead you to other misinformation in the lethally erroneous "scientific report" which "UST-Essx" principals introduced to me as their opinion of "gospel." This next link connects to a brief description of the fallacious "study" where the following quote is located:

"This study explains the general aspects of the biomechanics of the pole vault and presents a 3D analysis of the best official performances of the top 8 pole vaulters at the 1992 summer Olympic Games in Barcelona."

As confirmed by "International Olympic Committee" documentation and animated illustrations in Fig 001 & Fig 002 below, ERRONEOUS "traditional" pole vault perceptions in the "Barcelona" study are firmly rooted in 1960s commercial advertising propaganda. The original 1960s ads illustrations were designed for the purpose of SELLING and PROMOTING vaulting poles manufactured by "Browning Arms" more than three decades preceding the flawed 1990s "academic study" compilation. Established on a "risk to the user per-application" basis, misused fiberglass vaulting poles are the most lethal weapons ever created by the "Browning Arms" company. The drawings in Fig 001 are facsimiles of actual illustrations and fatal misinformation originally published by the firearms maker to promote its FIBERGLASS "SKY POLE" brand in the early 1960s. The original lethal 1960s Browning Arms promotional advertising content, that was carelessly based on Leonardo da Vinci's "flexible" catapult principles, is simply regurgitated in the 1992 "Barcelona" publication.

Pole Vault AdPole Vault Study

Most of the asinine "traditional" assumptions concocted in the acclaimed Barcelona "scientific report" (first introduced to me by "UST-Essx" vaulting pole makers) violate laws of physics and mathematics already solidly proven thousands of years ago by ancient scholars Pythagoras and Archimedes. Many of the misguided "esteemed" opinions formed by our modern-day "scholars" also fly in the face of pole vault FACTS that I began exposing in 1991 (more than a year prior to the birth of Sam Kendricks and many years before the production of "UST-Essx" vaulting poles).


One of our most significant accomplishments was the demonstration of how to CORRECTLY "COCK" flexible "COMPETITION" vaulting poles for the FIRST time since their inception more than 40 years prior to our evidence-based determinations. On a Euclidean plane, the shortest distance between any two distinct points is a straight line. Thus, the shortest distance between a flexing pole's top tip moving to a point vertically above its bottom tip, is a HORIZONTAL LINE that begins at the instant of "STRIKE" and culminates in "COCK" position, at the moment the vaulter begins ascension.


"Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation" is the ultimate remedy that permanently eliminates deadly "traditional" flexible pole vault absurdity. This physics principle is the foundation for Air Strike FLEXIBLE Pole Vault training procedures that produce vault execution in which INVERSION COMMENCES ONLY AFTER the athlete has passed the back wall of the plant box

Perfect Pole Vault

You can see in the animated images below (Fig 003 and Fig 004) Air Strike's VERTICAL END-OVER-END properly COCKED flexible vaulting pole orientation in comparison to the cocked pole curvature and position resulting from deadly wrong-way "traditional" pole vault teachings negligently misrepresented as "correct" by the ill-informed "scholars" responsible for the "Barcelona" study in 1992 and their corrupt affiliates in today's Track & Field Industrial Complex.

Pole Vault 1992Pole Vault Fig 004


Three decades ago, after coming to the realization that vaulting pole makers, athletic equipment manufacturers and "traditional" coaches are complicit in purposely spreading misinformation regarding this deadly track & field event, we began developing our own solutions. One of our many 1991 life-saving conclusions crucial to our successful revolutionary flexible pole vault execution is:


MARK MY SIMPLE "UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS" WORDS: The higher you hold a flexible vaulting pole, the more easily you can bend the ends closer together because there is more pole to bend. THE LOWER YOU HOLD, LEAVES LESS POLE TO BEND. When there is less area to bend, the pole becomes more difficult to flex and you don't have to bend it as much to break it.

Flexrod Wide Grip      Flexrod Narrow Grip

CLASSICAL PHYSICS PROVES, unequivocally, that the audacious "traditional" pole vault opinions published in the highly acclaimed 1990s "Barcelona" academic study are LETHALLY FLAWED. Regardless of the flagrantly portrayed superior intelligence and mathematical formulaic misrepresentations of self-aggrandizing collaborators involved in this "research" charade, real facts demonstrate these grand scholars have WRONGLY placed their intellectual faith in flawed FANTASY PHYSICS born from the "make-believe world" created in the minds of real-life deadly "traditional" pole vault propagandists and fools.


1960 Pole Vault pole vault 1960s 1960 Pole Vault 1992 Pole Vault

Isn't it incredibly ironic that "pole vault" at the "Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992" is the focus of this "study," when you realize that this is the very same sports venue at which the world's prolifically highest "traditional" pole vaulter in 1992, Sergei Bubka, FAILED to clear any height during his Olympic "specialty" event? Don't you also find it curious that, in 1992, one of the world's greatest decathletes, Dan O'Brien, was DISQUALIFIED from competing at the very same Summer Olympic Games of Barcelona after failing to clear any height during the 1992 Olympic Trials while applying the same perverted "traditional" pole vault teachings displayed above? Another interesting fact is that, by the summer of 1992, we had already established our revolutionary life-saving Air Strike pole vault methods for the world to see but were willfully ignored by track & field's pole vault industrial complex which is completely dominated by die hard "traditional" wrong-way insiders.

WARNING: "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT METHODS DISPLAYED BELOW ARE HAZARDOUS! In the following image sequence, Chris Toledo is shown early in 1992 doing the dangerous "TRADITIONAL BULL-PUSH" of the "UCS Spirit" vaulting pole like everyone else. Naively attempting to copy Sergei Bubka, Chris was negligently taught this deadly foolishness, firsthand, by each of the following celebrated "traditional" pole vault coaches: Don Hood, Jan Johnson and Bob Fraley.

bubka-01lavillenie-01Chris Toledo - UCS Spiritolympic-pole-breakborges-pole-vault

The four yellow background silhouette images you see above illustrate actual body positions of ill-advised top world class "traditional" pole vaulters applying lethal HIGH-SPEED approach runs to foolishly "BULL-PUSH" flexible poles forward. The figure illustrated breaking the pole displays the fact that the stress of the vaulter's excessive misapplied forward pressure has caused the pole's reinforced lower portion to break FIRST. The pole-plug can be seen above the label as the completely detached lower section of the broken pole is pointing back towards the vaulter. If you look closely, you will see that the lower portion of the pole is also broken approximately 8 inches above the "plug." Click this link to see a photo sequence of Lazaro Borges, Olympic pole vaulter, break a deadly "UCS Spirit" vaulting pole by bull-pushing it forward and to his right as exhibited in the images above.

Shown in the sequence of 10 images below, recorded in 2014, is world class European female vaulter, Silke Spiegelburg, PUSHING the flexing pole to her RIGHT, which foolishly forces the bending pole in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION of where it should be allowed to immediately naturally rotate. Image #1 points out that the pole-tip is too high above the ground plane at a moment when it should be much, much lower. Silke then proceeds with a lethal off-center pole plant which is another typical result of "traditional" pole vault miseducation. These images display the epitome of abject stupidity that thrives within this track and field event.

silke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vaultsilke pole vault

Below are BACK and FRONT views of a world class European female athlete BREAKING HER VAULTING POLE in 2013. Watch carefully as she applies foolish 1960s lethal "BULL-PUSH" methods still being taught in "traditional" pole vault (as detailed above) and her inevitable potentially hazardous consequences.

European Girl Backside  European Girl
Source of images: FISUTV - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtcgmKQF8TM - Creative Commons

All of the preceding facts are further substantiated by the recollections of a superb 1960s European pole vaulter who authored the following testimonial he sent me August 7, 2015:

"The video of the [Air Strike] technique is stunning!! That really is 'How to Pole Vault'. I broke our National record five times and vaulted for the National team as a senior while still in mid teens. I was vaulting on the cusp of fibre glass poles entering the pole vault scene in UK schools and to be fair to my coach (and other school coaches) they really weren't qualified to know how to teach us the technique for the new poles. I did however shortly before I gave up vaulting go to a training camp for our international vaulters, where the then new national coach told me I wasn't driving hard enough with a straight left arm on plant (I am right handed). The first time I did as he asked I broke the pole in mid bend. Four vaults later on a stiffer pole and him telling me I was still not driving hard enough I broke this pole as well. Did I lose my confidence? YES!"


Modern-day FLEXIBLE "COMPETITION" vaulting poles are designed as NON-UNIFORM DIAMETER TUBES. They are manufactured with thicker lower portions combined with easier to bend upper portions. When applying foolish "traditional" methods of "SPEED" and "BULL-PUSH" to LOAD flexible "competition" vaulting poles, the athletes' forward-moving momentum automatically causes the LOWER (more resistant) portion of the pole to bend detrimentally. The absolutely avoidable consequences are that every "TRADITIONAL" vaulter is forced to dangerously attempt inversion while still above the runway and plant box. An additional easily predictable result is what you see in the two most recent images above: BROKEN POLES! The MOST common catastrophic "traditional" disaster is when vaulters are "rejected" backwards, which forces LETHAL FALLS into the plant box or onto the runway. It is a certainty that vaulters continuing to use "traditional" methods will inevitably suffer any of a vast assortment of CALAMITIES.


pole vault pole vault pole vault pole vault

As shown in the above contrasting comparisons, Air Strike Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation produces much higher, safer and consistent vaults entirely above the landing mats. Since Air Strike's elementary execution MUST be perfected from the beginning, the athlete's lowest vault and, ultimately, the athlete's highest vault, during any Air Strike vaulter's career, will appear exactly alike. As an example, once a trampoline "BACKFLIP" is perfected low and close to the bed, then, and ONLY then, will the trampolinist begin a progression as he or she performs increasingly higher "FLIPS" EXACTLY as the INITIAL PERFECT MOTION!


Entirely different than as in the events of gymnastics and trampoline, in which a vast variety of skill sets will ultimately be executed by each athlete, Air Strike pole vault has only ONE MOVEMENT, and that basic action must be repeatedly practiced to perfection from the beginning. Put simply, the Air Strike procedure is ONE PERFECT MOTION that is consistently repeated forever after by the vaulter. Once Air Strike basics are mastered, vaulters simply continue to replicate the same fundamental Air Strike procedure while progressively applying variable pole tension and variable pole length to achieve greater heights using FLEXIBLE vaulting poles.


Pole Vault - Air Strike

The animations (displayed directly above and below) exhibit the conflicting positions of the top ends of "COCKED" flexible vaulting poles when applying AIR STRIKE physics versus hazardous "traditional" misconceptions. The top end of the pole using "traditional" methods is far out over the runway when the bending pole is "COCKED" and vaulters "INVERT." The top end of the AIR STRIKE "COCKED" pole, which is positioned end-over-end vertically, is safely crossing the back wall of the slideway box at the instant the pole reaches its maximum bend. One of the most egregious errors living within "traditional" pole vault misconceptions is the MISunderstanding of how to PROPERLY LOAD & RECOIL flexible vaulting poles.

Air Strike Pole Vault  Vaulting Pole Angles

Next, is a side-by-side comparison of two vaulters in which the grip heights are within inches of each other, although, the female vaulter is using a slightly longer pole. Carefully observing the images, you will see on the right that Air Strike's Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation process is faster and far more efficient in contrast to the "traditional" wrong-way process on the left. The Air Strike movement proficiently utilizes kinetic energy as the vaulter moves forward applying his bodyweight to hold the pole's top tip down. Remaining low, as he PULLS the top end of the pole towards the ground, the bending pole and vaulter move into proper pull-over position. Proper pull-over position automatically creates proper COCK position. Correctly COCKING the pole automatically increases the potential of the vaulter's vertical velocity while naturally producing an angle of ascension that is nearly perpendicular. The vaulter on the left is one of the greatest athletes I've ever observed. Sadly, her phenomenal physical capacity is needlessly RESTRICTED by the inept "traditional" diagonal body trajectory LIMITING her extraordinary potential.

Air Strike Pole Vault vs Traditional




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