‘That’s our kid’: Metro family ready to watch Park Hill native Chris Nilsen pole vault for gold medal

Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the Park Hill area, the Nilsen family proudly dons the Olympic flag and sign and early Tuesday morning, they’ll proudly watch their son Chris vault for Olympic gold.

“It’s still surreal to me that my son is in the Olympic and is a contender for a medal,” said Karen Nilsen. “This 3-year old little boy that used to run around everywhere and always in motion and now he’s Olympian.”

“That’s our kid, and now he’s at the top of the game,” Mark Nilsen said.

“We made him and it’s like my goodness,” Karen Nilsen said. “We’re so proud of him and the man he’s become and how he represents himself and the United States.”

Chris Nilsen got interested in pole vault at a young age. It fit the way he lived 

“Chris being Parkour and jumping, doing everything, he was like sure, let’s do this,” Karen Nilsen said. “Both kids, Chris and his sister, have both been fearless.”

His college experience at South Dakota Derek Miles led him to heights never thought imaginable for him to now the Olympic Finals. It’s tough not being there.

“It was disappointing,” both parents said.

But the community will support. Plenty of family members will be at the house Tuesday and rooting on the kid they grew up watching and KC Lightfoot as KC hopes to be home to gold medalist.

“It’s really cool to watch it. Seeing our two boys all together, it’s like cool!”

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