​September 6, 1960: Rafer Johnson Wins Gold

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Johnson won the gold medal in the decathlon by 58 points at the Rome Olympics. It was a epic duel against his UCLA teammate C.K. Yang of Taiwan. Johnson lost 7 of the 10 events, but his superiority in the shot-put, the discus and the javelin and his ability to stay close in the final 1,500 meters was the difference.

Rafer Lewis Johnson is a former decathlete and film actor. He was the 1960 Olympic gold medalist, after getting a silver in 1956 and a gold in the 1955 Pan American Games. He was also the flag bearer at the 1960 Olympics and lit the Olympic Flame when the Olympics came to Los Angeles in 1984.

He was a real life hero, along with Rosey Grier tackling Sirhan Sirhan moments after he had assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.

After the Olympics he turned his celebrity into acting, sportscasting and public service. He was instrumental in creating the California Special Olympics.

1 Comment

  • George Walker September 6, 2016 - 11:57 pm Reply

    I think this is interesting, I’ve never heard of any of this before.

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