Spikes12 Apr 2016

Demi Payne


Did You Know Demi Payne

U.S. pole vault ace Demi Payne has an alter ego. And an unhealthy obsession with Britney Spears.

1. I’m obsessed with chalk

“I am obsessed with chalk. I must go through a block every practice! There is no part of my hand that does not have chalk on it before I jump – and even if I am covered in chalk I then have to re-do the process again. It is crazy.

“I like the feeling of the chalk to pop off the pole, but [it makes] the chalk goes everywhere. I go through at least three blocks of chalk a week and I must put so much money in the school vending machine to buy the chalk.”

2. I have an alter ego called The Payne Train

“Lots of people might not know this: I have an alter ego called The Payne Train. The only time we see The Payne Train come out is on the pole vault runway.

“The first time I experienced The Payne Train was when I jumped 4.75m indoors in New Mexico last year. I remember standing on the runway feeling so intense and zoned in.

“Now every time I step on the runway I experience that same exact feeling. I think the Demi Payne off the track is a little more laid-back, goofy and awkward, and I would be a little intimidated by The Payne Train. As crazy as it sounds, The Payne Train is true.”

3. I was a huge Britney Spears fan

“When I was younger, I was obsessed with Britney Spears. I loved her and must have gone to at least ten of her concerts.

“I was a 100 per cent fan. I used to know every single word to all of her songs and my friends would come over and we would put on a Britney Spears concert for the family. She was pretty much all I would listen to at the time.

“As sad as it is to say, I’ve never met her – but there’s still hope that one day I will. I don’t know that today I am a die-hard fan, but if I did meet her I would probably just be really awkward. If Britney Spears did a track event, I would say she’s probably not a pole vaulter, but her body-type would be well suited to the javelin.”

Cover image by: SFA Athletics