Katie MoonNewsTrack & Field

Woman to Woman With Katie Moon

by Team USA

Katie Moon is the reigning Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion in women’s pole vault. In Team USA’s Woman to Woman series, Moon sits down with women’s sports personality Ari Chambers to discuss body image in track and field, her advice to women and more on the road to the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Ari: What's up, its Ari Chambers here, live with Team USA. I'm next to Katie Moon, the Tokyo Olympic Champion and two-time world champion. As women, we have a lot of things that we are extraordinary at but, you decided to stick a pole on the ground, hoist your body over a very elevated other pole and? This is your sport? Why pole vault?


Katie: It stressed my mom out, so why not pick the most stressful thing for her? (laughing). No, I was a gymnast when I was little. I loved anything involving adrenaline and upper body strength, so this was kind of perfect.

Katie Moon poses for a Team USA photo shoot.
Team USA

Ari: It's interesting because, in track, I see all the uniforms. A lot of girls are intimidated when they come into their own going into adulthood in sports. What would you say to them when our bodies change and, we have to be a little more revealing with our clothes?


Katie: Yeah, I definitely went through a phase when I first got onto the circuit, where the women were wearing sports bras. I started under-eating because I wanted to feel good in the uniform. I'm so happy we have more options now. If I want to be more covered, I can be. But at the time, I felt like I had to be showing my stomach to fit in and I just wish I would had known back then that it was about performance, and just how I felt, and not how I looked, and that my body is just a byproduct of all the work that I put in. 

"I just wish I had known back then it was about performance, and just how I felt, not how I looked, and that my body is just a byproduct of all the work that I put in."
Katie Moon poses for a Team USA photo shoot.
Katie Moon

Katie: I just thought that if I had the body, then the results would come. So, I wish I had put less emphasis on how I looked. But it's hard to do in society, that there's so much pressure on that. I've worn different things at every championship that I've competed in. I wore that two piece in Tokyo. I've worn the one piece at Indoor Worlds. I wore the longer tank top with the shorts at Outdoor Worlds last year. I wore the buns with the longer tank top this year. And so I hope I can show, be in whatever feels good. Look good, feel good, perform well.


Ari: Outside of track, what makes you feel the best?


Katie: I love fashion. I love kind of dressing cute and going out to eat with my friends. Just having that moment of putting an outfit together, then going out to take pictures. Even if I don't take pictures, I just feel good when I'm out and about and with the people that I love. That's when I feel the best.

Katie Moon poses for a Team USA photo shoot.
Team USA

Ari: What's a Katie Moon signature look for competition?


Katie: With pole vault you have to keep it a little more simple because you can't have super long nails. I wish (we could), but things like jewelry, have to not get in the way. But I do like wearing earrings. I love wearing necklaces, and I always have my nails painted a fun color. So, I try to keep it fun that way. With pole vault, I keep it simple because, at the end of the day I need to execute my job the best that I can without anything feeling distracting. I also love the braids in my hair.


Ari: They're so cute.


Katie: I can't do them myself. So if I don't have them done, that means I couldn't find anybody to do them for me. Then also, I love athleisure. I love dressing up with heels. I like jeans and a sweater. I love that I can dress whatever I'm feeling that day. But I would say my style's a bit more classic, so classic silhouettes and things like that.

(L-R) Nina Kennedy and Katie Moon reacting after the pole vault finals.
Getty Images
"They just kind of remind me that sport is what I do, it's not who I am."
Katie Moon poses for a Team USA photo shoot.
Katie Moon

Ari: Your sport is so athletic. You have to be able to hoist yourself upside down like that. Your core has to be really, really engaged. So, what is core to Katie Moon? What keeps you centered?


Katie: I think the things that keep me centered are really my family. They keep me very humble and remind me that I'm still me. I still do embarrassing things all the time. They remind me that sport is what I do, its not who I am. Even if I had never gotten to the Olympics, they were still going to love me for who I am. So that really keeps me centered. At the end of the day, I can come home and have that inner-peace, knowing that I have that foundation of family and friends.

Katie Moon poses for a Team USA photo shoot.
Team USA

Ari: And lastly, woman to woman, what advice do you have for any women out there who want to face their fears?


Katie: Just go for it. Just count to three and go. Or don't even count, just do it. It's scary and it's big, but just take that step. Just take it one step at a time. Find those goals along the way to get to that big scary goal. And yeah, pretty cool things can happen if you just believe that you can do it.

"Just go for it. Just count to three and go. Or don't even count, just do it. It's scary and it's big, but just take that step."
Katie Moon poses for a Team USA photo shoot.
Katie Moon
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