News & Updates

2 December 2021 • High Performance

My Favourite – Olivia McTaggart

Olivia McTaggart (Photo: Alisha Lovrich)

In our brand new Q and A series – the 2018 Commonwealth Games representative and 4.55m pole vaulter responds about a few of her favourite things.

Favourite achievement in athletics

Winning the national senior title in 2019. I didn’t have the best build up, but I went into that competition fully believing in myself and I jumped the best I ever had. It would either be that or winning selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Favourite athletics venue

Hawkes Bay Sports Park. Our home away from home in New Zealand. As a team we always feel so welcomed and have produced some of our best results there. Let’s go nationals 2022! 

Favourite piece of coaching advice

Pole Vault is like a big puzzle with lots of pieces, you’re just continuously trying to put them all together to create the best jump you can. I think that sums up the technicality and challenge of the sport and why I love it – and also why sometimes I don’t so much. Thanks Jeremy (McColl, Olivia’s coach). 

Favourite training session

The last few weeks of training are right up there. I have been surprising myself getting on poles I never thought possible. I’ve gone back to the pure love for what I do. It’s making each session purposeful and it has made me feel like a kid again. 

Favourite athlete of all-time

Too many… sorry!  

Favourite competition you’ve ever witnessed

My brother (Cameron) competing at the Tokyo Olympics in weightlifting. I only got to see him on a screen, but no other competition (athletics or otherwise) has come close to those emotions. 

Favourite athletics website

World Athletics ( Got to keep up on the stats somehow. 

Favourite school athletics memory

Running barefoot on the grass at athletics school days. I didn’t love school, so getting out of school for the day and literally running free was the best! 

Favourite athletics room-mate

 Imogen Ayris. I have travelled the world together for months on end, it is so much fun and we never get sick of each another. 

Favourite pre-competition song

Thunderstruck by AC/DC. It is a bit of a ritual to play it as my last song before heading out to the track.

Favourite pre-competition snack

Scrambled eggs on toast. Carbs and protein to keep me going. Pole Vault competitions can go for a while! 

Favourite other sport

Weightlifting. Not just because of Cam but it definitely helps! During training over the last couple years, I’ve developed a love for the similarity in technical components and being able to push myself in the gym. It’s definitely helped my jumping. 

Favourite ice cream flavour

Mango or Ferrero Rocher 

Favourite YouTube video

I’m a sucker for any motivational video, but Matthew McConaughey does a really good speech on “finding happiness in life” which I took some good learnings from. 

Favourite toy as a child

Not really a toy, but I spent most of my childhood in a gym. So anything I could flip or swing on really. 

Favourite sports team

The Black Ferns Sevens. Straight domination and they have become awesome role models for younger girls getting into sport. 

Favourite thing about New Zealand

The scenery, you don’t have to travel far to find some of the most natural beauty for some good old soul searching. 

Favourite overseas country visited

Japan, I flew over with Toyota NZ for business in 2019 and I was so immersed by the atmosphere and culture of their way of life. 

Favourite treat

Ice Cream and lollies (separately). My taste buds haven’t graduated since I was five years old.