Tatiana Grigorieva (Russian: Татьяна Григорьева; born October 8, 1975 in Leningrad, Soviet Union) is a retired Australian pole vaulter. She retired from the sport in 2007 after a 10 year career that saw her win Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Championship medals. She went on to star in series six of Dancing with the Stars and as Olympia on the 2008 revival of Gladiators.
As a former national level hurdler in Russia, Grigorieva took up pole vaulting when she migrated to Australia in 1997. Within 12 months of picking up a pole, she became one of the world’s best, placing third in the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York. In her first appearance at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics, she won the bronze medal.
But it was at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney when she stepped into the spotlight and became a household name. On a night when the whole of Australia was watching Cathy Freeman win gold, they had a real bonus in seeing Grigorieva jump a personal best and win silver. The ensuing fame saw Grigorieva take up a number of off-field commitments whilst still continuing to train and compete.
At the 2001 World Championships in Canada, competing against the odds due to an injury restricted campaign, Grigorieva equalled her personal best to claim fourth. In the final competition of the season, as she had done in the Olympics, she edged very close to the world record with a clearance of 4.56 m (a personal best jump) in Yokohama.
At her first Commonwealth Games in 2002, she went into the competition as the overwhelming favourite with enormous pressure on her. Grigorieva’s goal was to win gold and set a new games record – she achieved both.
In 2003 and 2004, despite maintaining a high standard and a place amongst the world’s best, injury, illness and the emotional strain of her marriage breakup, resulted in her missing opportunities to represent Australia in the World Championships and Olympics. In 2005, Grigorieva put all that behind her, changing her training regime, place of residence and focus in life. She had a successful season, making the finals of the World Championships and winning the Osaka Grand Prix to retain her Japanese record set in 2001.
In 2006 Grigorieva’s focus was defending her title at the Commonwealth Games in front of her home crowd. The untimely, mysterious loss of her vaulting poles and a nagging hamstring injury days before the event saw her competing at a slight disadvantage. However, she walked away with a silver medal in a performance that was close to her very best. 2006 was clearly her best ever international season where she jumped over 4.5 m six times and recorded two new personal best heights within days of each other and regained a place in the top five.
Since 2000 Grigorieva has appeared in numerous television programs and ad campaigns and magazines and on a number of magazines covers including from Inside Sport and Black+White to GQ in Italy and Esquire in the UK.
Her practical experience and desire to help others is now backed by her continuing studies towards a Health Science degree at the Australian College of Natural Medicine. She also had completed qualifications in Reiki, Pilates and Yoga.
In November 2007, Grigorieva and her partner Plamen Milanov opened the “Caffe e Gelato Milany” on Racecourse Road in the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton.
In December 2008 Grigorieva was named international spokesperson for the fruit bar CheekyChewz manufactured by the Australian company Australian Food Innovators. Her first project has been arranging an initiative that will see 50 cents from every bar sold through Variety’s website donated to that organisation.
- 1998 – Goodwill Games New York City – 2nd Pole vault
- 1998 – Australian Championships – 2nd Pole vault
- 1999 – Australian Championships – 3rd 100 m
- 1999 – Australian Championships – 1st Pole vault
- 1999 – World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan – 9th Pole vault
- 1999 – World Championships Seville – 3rd Pole vault
- 2000 – Australian Championships – 2nd Pole vault
- 2000 – Olympic Games Sydney – 2nd Pole vault
- 2001 – Australian Championships – 1st Pole vault
- 2001 – World Championships Edmonton, Alberta – 4th Pole vault
- 2002 – Australian Championships – 1st Pole vault
- 2002 – Commonwealth Games Manchester, England – 1st Pole vault
- 2003 – Australian Championships – 2nd Pole vault
- 2006 – Commonwealth Games Melbourne – 2nd Pole Vault