Angelica Bengtsson is a Swedish pole vaulter who is one of the most popular athletes in the country. She earned her first win at the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships at the age of 16. She won by a significant margin of 22 centimeters over her competitors.
Despite qualifying for the European Athletic Championships in 2010, Angelica chose to focus on younger categories before making the step up. After several failed attempts, Angelica claimed the Swedish senior record at the 2011 Swedish Indoor Championships. At the 2019 World Championships final, Angelica set a new Swedish Outdoor record by clearing 4.80 meters.
Angelica wanted to follow her father’s footsteps in the javelin throw but she opted for pole vault instead
Angelica was born on 8th July 1993 to Elizete and Glenn Bengtsson. She displayed athletic talent early on and initially started out in gymnastics. Angelica also hoped to emulate her father by becoming a javelin thrower. Glenn realized that his daughter had a special pole vaulting talent, but he left it to Angelica to choose which sport she wanted to pursue. Angelica coined the motto, “The one who walks with others’ footsteps will never come first”, and decided to forge her own path into pole vaulting success.
Glenn played a crucial role in helping Angelica develop as an athlete. She writes on her site, “There she and her sisters could practice on their own pole vault bed built by her trainer and her father Glenn Bengtsson. With her father as her coach she developed skills according to the ‘Boaryd model.’”
Angelica claims to produce her best results when surrounded by her four sisters and parents
Angelica grew up in the Swedish countryside alongside four sisters. Despite pursuing different career paths, the sisters are close, and family time is highly treasured. On 24th June 2018, Angelica posted a series of photos of her family on Facebook and attached the caption:
“Happy day today. The whole Bengtsson family united, to celebrate our birthdays… I’m the happiest, having such a big wonderful family, 4 sisters, 5 nephews/nieces and my parents.”
Angelica’s family has a major effect on how Angelica performs. After breaking the junior world record in 2011, Angelica moved to France to work with established pole vault trainers. However, it didn’t work out, and her form dipped. Angelica recovered by returning home to her family and training under her father’s tutelage. She writes on her site:
“Her dad, Glenn Bengtsson, took up the role of her coach again and a more balanced training regime is leading Angelica into healthy success. Surrounded by friends and family, the environment plays a great role in supporting Angelica to achieve the best of her abilities.”