page contents Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic decathlon champion, dies at 86 – The News Headline

Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic decathlon champion, dies at 86

He used to be 86. No reason for dying used to be given. A commentary from the varsity mentioned he died at his Sherman Oaks, California, house surrounded through circle of relatives.

Johnson’s win in Rome in 1960 used to be one of the crucial memorable finishes to a decathlon in Olympic historical past. In a combat with C.Okay. Yang of Taiwan — Johnson’s UCLA teammate — the American held a narrow lead going into the 1,500-meter run, the overall match.

The 2 males had been in the similar warmth, and even if it used to be Yang’s easiest match, Johnson stayed shut sufficient to win the decathlon through simply 58 issues.

In step with Bleacher Record, Johnson mentioned: “I had one benefit. And I don’t believe C.Okay. knew this on the time — this used to be my remaining decathlon. I used to be ready to run as speedy as I needed to on this remaining race of my lifestyles.”

Johnson who later become an activist and an actor additionally received the silver medal within the 1956 Olympic decathlon. It used to be the remaining time he would not win a decathlon he entered.

“We’re extraordinarily saddened to lose one of the crucial biggest people one may hope to grasp,” mentioned Avery Anderson, UCLA’s director of monitor & box/pass nation. “The general public know him to be an all-time UCLA and Olympic nice as an athlete, however that handiest scratches the skin of what he gave the arena.

“Rafer set the usual of what an icon must be – a humanitarian, a pacesetter, a really perfect buddy and mentor, and most significantly a really perfect patriarch to probably the most superb circle of relatives I have ever recognized.”

Johnson used to be born on August 18, 1934, in Hillsboro, Texas, and moved to California in heart college, consistent with USA Monitor & Box. In highschool, he performed soccer, baseball, basketball and monitor.

He went directly to compete for UCLA in monitor and box, incomes instructional and athletic scholarships, arriving in Westwood in 1954. He received a gold medal within the decathlon on the Pan American Video games in 1955. In 1956, he led UCLA to its first NCAA identify for monitor and box.

Whilst at UCLA, Johnson additionally performed two seasons for mythical males’s basketball trainer John Picket, together with as a starter in 1958-59, main the Bruins in box function proportion. He used to be 3rd at the crew in scoring with eight.2 issues according to recreation.

Johnson’s a member of the USA Olympic and & Paralympic Corridor of Repute and the Nationwide Monitor & Box Corridor of Repute.

After his athletic occupation, Johnson labored for President John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps.

He additionally helped to discovered Particular Olympics Southern California.

He used to be operating with the presidential marketing campaign of Robert F. Kennedy on June five, 1968, when the Democratic candidate used to be fatally shot. Johnson, former NFL celebrity Rosey Grier and journalist George Plimpton helped subdue the gunman, Sirhan Sirhan.

Johnson used to be married to his spouse, Betsy, for 49 years, consistent with USA Monitor and Box. His daughter, Jenny Johnson-Jordan, used to be an Olympian in seaside volleyball in 2000, and his son, Josh Johnson, used to be an All-The usa javelin thrower for UCLA. His brother, Jimmy Johnson, is within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Repute after his occupation with the San Francisco 49ers.

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