On This Day

Athletics in History

Events in Sport

  • 1653-12-01 An athlete from Croydon is reported to have run 20 miles from St Albans to London in less than 90 minutes
  • 1880-04-24 Amateur Athletic Association, governing body for men's athletics in England & Wales, is founded in Oxford, England
  • 1896-04-06 First modern Summer Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece; American athlete James Connolly becomes first modern Olympic champion when he wins triple jump (then 2 hops and a jump); later 3rd in long jump, 2nd in high jump
  • 1896-04-07 American athlete Robert Garrett wins the throwing double at the Athens Olympics by taking out the shot putt (11.22m); wins the discus the previous day

Olympic Gold

1896-04-07 Australian athlete Edwin Flack wins gold in the first Olympic 1500m final at inaugural modern Games in Athens; goes on to win 800m two days later

  • 1896-04-09 Australian athlete Edwin Flack claims the middle distance double at the Athens Olympics winning the 800m final in 2:11.0; his 2nd victory of the Games after success in the 1500m
  • 1896-04-10 American athlete Thomas Burke claims the sprint double at the Athens Olympics winning the 100m final in 12.0s; his 2nd victory of the Games after success in the 400m
  • 1896-04-15 1st modern Summer Olympic Games close in Athens, Greece; USA wins gold medal count, 11; Greece wins total medal count, 46; IOC has retroactively assigned gold, silver & bronze medals to 3 best placed athletes in each event
  • 1900-07-19 Luxembourg born Michel Théato representing France wins Paris Olympics marathon in 2:59:45 ahead of another French athlete Émile Champion

Olympic Gold

1912-07-07 American athlete Jim Thorpe wins 4 of 5 events to win the Pentathlon gold medal at the Stockholm Olympics, medal stripped 1913 (played pro baseball), reinstated 1982

  • 1912-07-15 American athlete Jim Thorpe is placed in top 4 in all 10 events, for an Olympic record 8,413 points to win the Decathlon gold medal at the Stockholm Olympics, medal stripped 1913 (played pro baseball), reinstated 1982
  • 1913-02-01 American all-round athlete Jim Thorpe signs to play baseball with the NY Giants; unlike his other sporting endeavours the Olympic-medal winner's career in MLB was uninspiring (1913-19)
  • 1920-04-26 Husband and wife team Ludowika & Walter Jakobsson representing Finland, win the pairs skating gold medal at the Antwerp Olympics; Ludowika is the only German-born athlete at the Games
  • 1922-08-20 1st Women's World Games (first track & field competition for women) is conducted over 1-day at the Pershing Stadium in Paris

World Record

1922-09-04 Finnish super athlete Paavo Nurmi runs a 2000m world record 5:26.3 in Tampere, Finland

  • 1928-02-19 Gillis Grafström of Sweden wins his 3rd consecutive Olympic men’s figure skating gold medal at St. Moritz; one of only 2 athletes to win gold at both Winter & Summer Games (won figure skating Antwerp 1920)
  • 1928-07-31 Halina Konopacka of Poland hurls discus world record 39.62m to win first gold medal in women's Olympic athletics at the Amsterdam Games; American Lillian Copeland and Ruth Sveberg of Sweden take minor medals
  • 1930-05-20 University of California dedicates $1,500 to research on prevention & cure of athlete's foot

Sports History

1930-12-16 Golfer Bobby Jones is the first to win the James E. Sullivan Award (best US amateur athlete)

  • 1931-04-28 Program for woman athletes approved for 1932 Olympics track & field

World Record

1935-05-25 Legendary American athlete Jesse Owens equals or breaks 4 world records in 45 minutes at a Big Ten meet at Ferry Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan; remembered as "the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport"

  • 1936-08-04 American athlete Jesse Owens wins his 2nd gold medal at the Berlin Olympics; beats German Luz Long in the long jump final with an Olympic record
  • 1936-08-04 American Helen Stephens runs 11.5 to win the 100m at the Berlin Olympics, beating controversial intersex athlete Stanisława Walasiewicz of Poland
  • 1936-08-05 American athlete Jesse Owens wins 200m in world record time (20.7s), his 3rd gold medal of the Berlin Olympics
  • 1936-08-05 Italian athlete Ondina Valla runs a world record 11.6 in the semi finals of the 80m hurdles at the Berlin Olympics; wins final the next day but can't match the time
  • 1936-08-06 Japanese athletes quinella the triple jump at the Berlin Olympics; Naoto Tajima wins gold and Masao Harada silver
  • 1936-08-06 American athlete Forrest Towns runs world record 14.1 in 110m hurdles semi finals at the Berlin Olympics; later can't match the time but wins the gold medal in the final
  • 1940-04-13 American athlete Cornelius "Dutch" Warmerdam, using a bamboo pole, becomes 1st man to pole vault 15 ft, at University of California, Berkeley
  • 1941-05-24 German athlete Rudolf Harbig runs world record 1,000m in 2:21.5 at Dresden, Germany
  • 1946-04-15 50th Boston Marathon won by Stylianos Kyriakides of Greece in 2:29:27; first and only Cypriot athlete to win the event
  • 1948-02-04 After winning the men’s downhill, French alpine skier Henri Oreiller takes the combined gold medal at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics; becomes most successful athlete at these Games with a slalom bronze
  • 1948-08-06 Dutch super athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen wins London Olympics 200m in 24.4s to become the first women to claim 3 individual track & field gold at a Games, having already won the 100m and 80m hurdles

Sports History

1954-05-06 English athlete Roger Bannister becomes first to run a sub-4 minute mile, recording 3:59:4 at Iffley Road Track, Oxford

  • 1955-10-18 Track & Field names Jesse Owens all-time track athlete
  • 1956-12-08 XVI Summer Olympic Games close in Melbourne, Australia; start of an Olympic tradition - amidst international tensions, athletes mingle together, parade into and around MCG arena for final appearance to close the Games
  • 1957-06-05 NY narcotics investigator, Dr Herbert Berger, urges AMA to investigate use of stimulating drugs by athletes
  • 1958-08-06 American athlete Glenn Davis breaks his own world record by 0.3 (49.2) in 400m hurdles in Budapest, Hungary
  • 1961-12-18 For 2nd consecutive year, AP names Wilma Rudolph female athlete of year
  • 1964-10-17 Australian athlete Betty Cuthbert takes her 4th career Olympic gold medal as she wins the women's 400m at the Tokyo Games in Olympic record 52.0

World Record

1964-10-21 Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia runs a world record 2:12:11.2 to beat Briton Basil Heatley by more than 4 minutes and win the men's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics; first athlete to win Olympic marathon twice

  • 1964-10-21 New Zealand athlete Peter Snell wins the 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympics; his second gold medal of the Games (800m); 3rd career gold
  • 1965-06-08 MLB Draft: Kansas City Athletics A's select Arizona State University outfielder Rick Monday #1; inaugural MLB Draft

Sports History

1965-09-25 60 year old Satchel Paige of Kansas City Athletics pitches 3 scoreless innings

  • 1967-08-21 Kansas City utility Ken Harrelson becomes baseball's first free agent when he is abruptly released by the Athletics; calls team owner Charlie Finley "a menace to baseball"
  • 1968-10-12 Enriqueta Basilio, Mexican track and field athlete becomes 1st woman to light Olympic flame at 19th Summer Olympics, in Mexico City, Mexico
  • 1968-10-15 British athlete David Hemery sets a world record 48.12s to beat Gerhard Hennige of West Germany and take the gold medal in the men's 400m hurdles at the Mexico City Olympics
  • 1968-10-17 Soviet athlete Viktor Saneev sets world record 17.39m to win the triple jump at the Mexico City Olympics; world record improved 5 times by 3 different athletes during competition
  • 1968-10-18 American athletes sweep the medals in the men's 400m at the Mexico City Olympics; Lee Evans wins gold in world record 43.86s ahead of Larry James and Ron Freeman
  • 1969-03-20 Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila is paralysed in an auto-accident near Addis Ababa

Sports History

1971-10-03 American tennis star Billie Jean King becomes first female athlete to win $100,000 in prize money in a single year; wins the $4,000 Virginia Slams Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona

  • 1972-06-24 South African runner Danie Malan sets a new 1,000m world record 2:16.0 in Munich, Germany

World Record

1972-09-04 US 4 x 100m medley relay team of Mike Stamm, Tom Bruce, Mark Spitz & Jerry Heidenreich sets world record 3:48.16 to win gold at the Munich Olympics; Mark Spitz becomes 1st athlete to win 7 Olympic gold medals at a single Games

  • 1972-09-04 16 year old Ulrike Meyfarth of West Germany with a world record equalling 1.92m, wins the women's high jump gold medal at the Munich Olympics; youngest winner of individual athletics event in Olympic history
  • 1972-09-05 11 Israeli athletes taken hostage and later killed by Palestinian Black September group at the Munich Olympics
  • 1972-09-07 American athletes Vincent Matthews & Wayne Collett finish 1-2 in 400m at the Munich Olympics; acted casually on the medal stand, did not face the flag during anthem; banned from the Olympics for life
  • 1973-05-27 American athlete Rick Wohlhuter runs world record 880 yards in 1:44.6
  • 1973-10-20 US President Nixon proclaims Jim Thorpe to have been the greatest athlete of the 1st half of the 20th century
  • 1975-07-18 Jury can't decide on trial of Dave Forbes of Boston Bruins (1st athlete indicted for excessive violence during play)
  • 1982-07-07 English athlete David Moorcroft beats Kenyan Henry Rono's 5000m world record by nearly 5 seconds, 13:00.41 in Oslo, Norway

Sports History

1983-08-07 Grete Waitz of Norway wins inaugural women's marathon at the 1st world athletics championships in Helsinki, Finland

Olympic Gold

1984-08-04 American athlete Carl Lewis wins the 100m in 9.9 seconds in Los Angeles, first of 9 Olympic gold medals over 3 Games

  • 1984-08-06 American athlete Carl Lewis wins long jump (8.54m), his second of 4 gold medals at Los Angeles Olympics
  • 1986-07-07 American athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee sets world heptathlon record of 7,148 points in the inaugural Goodwill Games at Moscow
  • 1986-08-02 American athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee beats her own world heptathlon record by 13 points (7,161) in Houston

Sports History

1987-01-15 Champion Boston Celtics NBA forward Larry Bird is named Man of the Year by 'The Sporting News' and Athlete of the Year by 'Associated Press'; first time one athlete gains both distinctions

  • 1987-08-29 Portuguese athlete Rosa Mota wins Women's Marathon at World Chapionships in Rome in 2hr 25:17mins
  • 1987-08-30 Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria sets high jump woman's record 2.09m (6'10½"), one of the most long-standing records in athletics
  • 1988-09-19 US women's all-round gymnastics team is controversially penalised 0.5 after compulsory round at the Seoul Olympics; substitute an alternate athlete on uneven bars medal podium; Americans finish 4th just 0.3 behind East Germany
  • 1988-09-24 East German cyclist Christa Luding-Rothenburger wins silver medal in the women's track sprint at the Seoul Olympics; first athlete to win medals at Summer & Winter Games in same year; won speed skating gold in Calgary
  • 1988-09-28 American athletes go 1-2-3 in the 400m at the Seoul Olympics with Steve Lewis taking the gold medal in 43.87 ahead of teammates Butch Reynolds & Danny Everett
  • 1988-09-29 American athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee wins her second gold medal of the Seoul Olympics by taking the long jump with an Olympic record leap of 7.40m; previously won the heptathlon
  • 1988-09-29 East German athlete Christian Schenk beats countryman Torsten Voss by 89 points to win the decathlon gold medal at the Seoul Olympics; Canadian Dave Steen is another 71 points back in third place

Sports History

1989-12-29 Wayne Gretzky and Martina Navratilova, named athletes of decade by the Associated Press

  • 1991-09-01 Japanese runner Hiromi Taniguchi wins the marathon in 2:14:57 at the World Athletics Championships in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1992-08-01 British athlete Linford Christie (32) becomes the oldest man to win an Olympic 100m gold medal edging Frankie Fredericks in Barcelona
  • 1992-08-01 American sprinter Gail Devers wins an incredibly close blanket finish in the women's 100m at the Barcelona Olympics, with 5 athletes within 0.06 seconds of Devers (10.82)
  • 1992-08-02 American Jacki Joyner-Kersee becomes first athlete to win consecutive gold medals in the gruelling heptathlon with a 199 point win over Irina Belova (Soviet Union) at the Barcelona Olympics
  • 1992-08-04 The diving competition at the Barcelona Olympics concludes with Chinese athletes dominant, winning 3 of 4 gold medals contested - American Mark Lenzi wins 3m springbaord
  • 1992-08-04 In its debut at the Barcelona Olympics the badminton singles gold medals are both won by Indonesian athletes, whilst both men's & women's doubles go to South Korea
  • 1995-04-08 148th Grand National: Irish rider Jason Titley wins aboard 40/1 outsider Royal Athlete; trainer Jenny Pitman's second GN victory
  • 1996-08-01 French sprinter Marie-José Pérec wins the 200m final at the Atlanta Olympics to become only the 2nd athlete to win the 200-400m Olympic double (Valerie Brisco-Hooks 1984)
  • 1996-08-01 American athlete Michael Johnson wins 200m at the Atlanta Olympics in a world record 19.32 seconds to become the first man to complete the 200m-400m double
  • 2001-08-03 Olympic champion Gezahegne Abera of Ethiopia becomes first athlete to achieve Olympics-World Championships marathon double; runs 2:12:42 to beat Kenya's Simon Biwott by just 0.1s in Edmonton World Championships

Sports History

2001-08-06 Two-time champion Marion Jones is disqualified and has her string of 42 consecutive 100m final victories snapped by Zhanna Pintusevich-Block of Ukraine at the World Athletics Championships in Edmonton, Canada

  • 2004-08-28 British athlete Kelly Holmes wraps up the 800/1,500m double at the Athens Olympics taking out the 1.5k in 3:57.90
  • 2004-08-28 Moroccan super star athlete Hicham El Guerrouj wraps up the 1,500/5,000m double at the Athens Olympics taking the 5k gold in 13:14.39
  • 2005-08-07 American sprinter Justin Gatlin blitzes field to win 100m in 9.88 at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland
  • 2005-08-11 American Justin Gatlin becomes only the 2nd athlete to take sprint double, winning 200m in 20.04 at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland
  • 2008-08-22 Steven Hooker wins the men's pole vault with 5.96m at the Beijing Olympics; Australia's first gold medal in men's athletics since 1968

World Record

2009-08-16 Usain Bolt of Jamaica edges American Tyson Gay to win 100m in world record 9.58s at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin

  • 2011-09-03 Following his disqualification in the 100m, Jamaica's Usain Bolt runs a season best 19.40 to win the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in South Korea
  • 2012-06-24 Female athletes will be allowed to compete for Saudi Arabia at the Olympics for the first time
  • 2013-08-11 Usain Bolt of Jamaica records best time of the year (9.77s) to edge out American Justin Gatlin and win 100m at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia
  • 2014-09-11 South African athlete Oscar Pistorius is found not guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (and is later found guilty of culpable homicide)
  • 2015-11-09 World Anti-Doping Agency commission report recommends Russian Federation be banned from athletics competitions for running a "state-supported" doping programme
  • 2016-08-14 South African athlete Wayde van Niekerk sets world record 43.03 to win the men's 400m gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics; Kirani James (Grenada) silver, American LaShawn Merritt bronze
  • 2018-02-08 Noriaki Kasai of Japan becomes first athlete in history to participate in 8 Winter Olympics in the ski jumping qualification prior to the Pyeongchang Games
  • 2018-02-25 Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen wins gold in women's 30k at Pyeongchang Winter Olympics; brings her total Games medal haul to 15, most won by any athlete in Winter Games history
  • 2019-05-19 Sprinter Dutee Chand comes out as India's first openly gay professional athlete

Contract of Interest

2020-07-06 Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes agrees to the largest contract for an athlete in sports history, inking a 12-year deal that could end up being worth US$503 million


Birthdays in Sport

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 399

  • 1843-02-12 John Graham Chambers, English athlete who wrote the Queensberry rules for boxing (d. 1883)
  • 1862-08-16 Amos Alonzo Stagg, American athlete and American football pioneer, born in West Orange, New Jersey (d. 1965)
  • 1870-07-29 George Dixon, Canadian boxer (World Bantamweight title 1892; World Featherweight champion 1891-97, 98-1901; first black athlete to win a World C'ship in any sport), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (d. 1908)
  • 1870-09-07 Thomas Curtis, American athlete (Olympic 1896 Gold), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1944)

Lottie Dod

1871-09-24 Lottie Dod, British all-round athlete (Wimbledon 1887-88, 1891-93), born in Bebington, England (d. 1960)

  • 1872-10-24 Peter O'Connor, Irish athlete (1st recognised world long jump record 1901), born in Millom, England (d. 1957)
  • 1873-01-10 George Orton, Canadian athlete, born in Strathroy-Caradoc, Canada (d. 1958)
  • 1873-02-04 Étienne Desmarteau, Canadian athlete (d. 1905)
  • 1873-10-14 Ray Ewry, American track and field athlete (8 Olympic golds 1900, 04, 08), born in Lafayette, Indiana (d. 1937)

Jaap Eden

1873-10-19 Jaap Eden, Dutch athlete (World Cycling C'ship gold 10k 1894, sprint 1895; World Speed Skating C'ship gold allround 1893, 95, 96), born in Groningen, Netherlands (d. 1925)

Teddy Flack

1873-11-05 Edwin Flack, Australian athlete, (Olympic gold 800m, 1500m 1896), born in London, England (d. 1935)

  • 1874-11-15 Dimitrios Golemis, Greek athlete (d. 1941)
  • 1875-01-15 Tom Burke, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m, 400m 1896), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1929)
  • 1876-01-11 Thomas Hicks, English athlete (Olympic gold marathon 1904), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1952)
  • 1876-03-21 John Tewksbury, American athlete (d. 1968)
  • 1876-09-11 Stan Rowley, Australian athlete (Olympic gold 5,000m team, bronze 60m, 100m, 200m 1900), born in Young, Australia (d. 1924)
  • 1876-12-12 Alvin Kraenzlein, American track and field athlete (4 Olympic gold 1900), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 1928)
  • 1878-03-22 Michel Théato, Luxembourgian athlete (Olympic gold representing France, marathon 1900), born in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (d. 1923)
  • 1878-08-31 Frank Jarvis, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1900), born in California, Pennsylvania (d. 1933)
  • 1878-10-16 Maxey Long, American athlete (d. 1959)
  • 1879-06-01 Max Emmerich, American athlete and gymnast (Olympic gold, triathlon 1904), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1956)
  • 1879-12-30 Harry Barrett, British athlete (WR marathon 2:42:31 1909), born in London, England (d. 1927)
  • 1880-07-24 Kristian Hellström, Swedish athlete, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1946)
  • 1881-09-08 Harry Hillman, American athlete (3 Gold Olympic 1904), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1945)
  • 1881-10-28 Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (Olympic silver pole vault & bronze javelin 1906; bronze pole vault 1908; popularized bowling in Sweden), born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1969)
  • 1882-03-16 Jim Lightbody, American athlete (Olympic gold 800m, 1500m, 2590m Steeplechase 1904), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1953)
  • 1883-09-05 Mel Sheppard, American athlete (Olympic gold 800m, 1,500m, medley relay 1908; 4x400 metre relay 1912), born in Deptford Township, New Jersey (d. 1942)
  • 1883-10-26 Paul Pilgrim, American athlete (Olympic gold 1904, 06), born in NYC, New York (d. 1958)
  • 1884-02-08 Reginald "Snowy" Baker, Australian boxer (Olympic silver middleweight 1908), rugby union halfback (2 caps) and actor (The Sword of Valor), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 1953)

Alfred Carlton Gilbert

1884-02-15 Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American athlete, inventor, and businessman (invented the Erector Set), born in Salem, Oregon (d. 1961)

  • 1884-06-22 James Rector, American athlete (d. 1949)
  • 1885-03-23 Platt Adams, American field athlete (Olympic gold standing high jump 1912), Belleville, New Jersey (d. 1961)
  • 1886-07-15 Harry Green, English athlete (WR marathon 2:38:16.2 1913), born in Islington, Greater London, England (d. 1934)

Jim Thorpe

1887-05-28 Jim Thorpe, American all-round athlete (Olympic gold decathlon, pentathlon 1912; College & Pro Football Hall of Fame), born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma (d. 1953)

  • 1887-06-04 Tom Longboat, Canadian athlete (Boston Marathon 1907 record time 2:24:24), born in Six Nations Reserve Brantford, Ontario (d. 1949)
  • 1888-04-12 Dan Ahearn, Irish-American athlete (men's triple jump WR 15.52m 1911-24), born in Athea, Ireland (d. 1942)
  • 1888-10-30 Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, Greek athlete (Olympic gold standing long jump, bronze high jump 1912, 2 silver 1908), born in Pylos, Greece (d. 1913)
  • 1889-03-16 Reggie Walker, South African athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1908), born in Durban, South Africa (d. 1951)
  • 1889-03-24 Albert Hill, British athlete (d. 1969)
  • 1889-06-21 Ralph Craig, American athlete (Olympic gold 100/200m 1912), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1972)
  • 1889-09-20 Charles Reidpath, American athlete (Olympic gold 1912), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1975)
  • 1891-01-23 Jüri Lossmann, Estonian athlete (Olympic silver marathon 1920), born in Kabala, Estonia (d. 1984)
  • 1892-11-14 Ted Meredith, American athlete (Olympic gold 800m in world record 1:51.9s 1912), born in Chester Heights, Pennsylvania (d. 1957)
  • 1893-01-20 Georg Åberg, Swedish athlete (Olympic silver triple jump; bronze long jump 1912), born in Norrköping, Sweden (d. 1946)
  • 1893-04-18 Violette Morris, French athlete and spy for Nazi Germany, born in Paris (d. 1944)
  • 1894-10-05 Bevil Rudd, South African athlete (Olympic gold 400m 1920), born in Kimberley, South Africa (d. 1948)
  • 1895-02-15 Earl Thomson, Canadian athlete (d. 1971)
  • 1896-02-01 Frank Lane, American MLB executive (GM Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, KC Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1981)
  • 1897-03-15 Jackson Scholz, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m 1920, 200m 1924), born in Buchanan, Michigan (d. 1986)
  • 1898-10-15 Boughera El Ouafi, Algerian athlete and marathoner (Olympic gold 1928), born in Ouled Djellal, Algeria (d. 1951)
  • 1899-12-15 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold 100m, silver 4x100m 1924; depicted in film "Chariots of Fire"), born in Bedford, England (d. 1978)
  • 1900-04-07 Tebbs Lloyd Johnson, English race walker (Olympic bronze 50k 1952; oldest Olympic medal-winning athlete; 48 years and 115 days), born in Melton Mowbray, England (d. 1984)
  • 1900-05-24 Lionel Conacher "The Big Train", Canadian athlete and politician, born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1954)
  • 1900-08-11 Charles William Paddock, Texas, American athlete and 100m record breaker (Olympic-2 gold-1920) (d. 1943)
  • 1900-10-09 Silvio Cator, Haitian athlete and long jumper (Olympic silver 1928), born in Cavaellon, Haiti (d. 1952)
  • 1901-09-25 Bud Houser, American field athlete (Olympic gold discus & shot put 1924, discus 1928), born in Winigan, Missouri (d. 1994)
  • 1901-12-03 Glenn Hartranft, American athlete (discus WR 47.89m 1925; Olympic silver shot putt 1924), born in Aberdeen, South Dakota (d. 1970)
  • 1902-09-21 Ilmari Salminen, Finnish athlete (Olympic gold 10,000m 1936), born in Elimäki, Finland (d. 1986)
  • 1903-04-17 Morgan Taylor, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m hurdles 1924; bronze 1928, 32), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 1975)
  • 1903-11-25 Dehart Hubbard, American athlete (Olympic gold, long jump 1924; first African American to win individual event; WR 7.89m 1925), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1976)
  • 1904-05-27 Chūhei Nambu, Japanese track and field athlete (Olympic gold 1932), born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan (d. 1997)
  • 1904-09-04 Sabin Carr, American athlete (Olympic gold pole vault 1928; WR 4.27m 1927), born in Santa Barbara, California
  • 1905-06-12 Ray Barbuti, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m, 400m relay 1928), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1988)
  • 1905-12-01 Alexander Wilson, Canadian and Notre Dame athlete (d. 1994)
  • 1906-05-19 Bruce Bennett, American athlete and actor (Before I Hang, Sahara), born in Tacoma, Washington (d. 2007)
  • 1907-01-05 Volmari Iso-Hollo, Finnish athlete (Olympic gold 3,000m steeplechase 1936), born in Ylöjärvi, Finland (d. 1969)
  • 1907-05-09 Fred Warngård, Swedish athlete (d. 1950)
  • 1907-10-09 Klaes Karppinen, Finnish athlete, 4 X 10K relay (Olympic gold 1936), born in Iisalmi, Finland (d. 1992)
  • 1907-12-01 Alex Wilson, Canadian athlete (Olympic silver 800m, 2 x bronze 400m, 4x400m relay 1932), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1994)
  • 1908-01-01 Kinue Hitomi, Japanese athlete (World record women's 100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump; Olympic silver 800m 1928), born in Okayama, Japan (d. 1931)
  • 1908-05-19 Percy Williams, Canadian athlete (Olympic gold 100m / 200m 1928), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1982)
  • 1908-07-01 Ed Gordon Jr, American athlete (Olympic gold long jump 1932), born in Jackson, Mississippi (d. 1971)
  • 1908-09-29 Eddie Tolan, American sprinter (2 Golds 1932 Olympics), born in Denver, Colorado (d. 1967)
  • 1908-12-26 Ralph Hill, American athlete (Olympic silver 5,000m 1932; same time as winner Lauri Lehtinen), born in Klamath Falls, Oregon (d. 1994)
  • 1909-10-24 Bill Carr, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m, 4 x 400m 1932), born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (d. 1966)
  • 1909-10-29 Frank Wykoff, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1928, 32, 36), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1980)
  • 1910-01-05 Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 1,500m 1936), born in Crushington, New Zealand (d. 1949)
  • 1910-02-12 Gunnar Höckert, Finnish athlete (Olympic gold 5,000m 1936), born in Helsinki, Finland (d. 1940)
  • 1910-05-29 Ralph Metcalfe, American athlete, politician (Rep-D-Ill; joint world record 100m, Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1936), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 1978)
  • 1910-07-01 Glen Hardin, American athlete (Olympic gold 1936 400m hurdles), born in Derma, Mississippi (d. 1975)
  • 1910-10-28 Marie Dollinger, German track and field athlete (dropped baton in 1936 Olympic sprint), born in Langenzenn, Germany (d. 1994)
  • 1910-12-02 Taisto Mäki, Finnish athlete (WR 2 miles, 5,000m and 10,000m simultaneously 1939-42), born in Rekola, Finland (d. 1979)
  • 1911-04-03 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1932), born in Wierzchownia, Poland (d. 1980)

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

1911-06-26 Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American all-round athlete (10 LPGA major titles, Olympic gold 80m hurdles, javelin 1932), born in Port Arthur, Texas (d. 1956)

  • 1912-08-29 Sohn Kee-chung, Korean athlete and long-distance runner, born in Sinuiju, North Korea (d. 2002)
  • 1912-11-01 Bill Bonthron, American athlete (world 1,500m record 3:48.8 1934), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1983)

Jesse Owens

1913-09-12 Jesse Owens, American athlete (4 Olympic gold 1936), born in Oakville, Alabama (d. 1980)

  • 1913-10-22 Annette Rogers, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1932, 36), born in Chelsea, Massachusetts (d. 2006)
  • 1913-11-26 Foy Draper, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m relay 1936 WR 39.8s), born in Georgetown, Texas (d. 1943)
  • 1914-02-06 Forrest Towns, American athlete (Olympic gold 110m hurdles 1936), born in Fitzgerald, Georgia (d. 1991)
  • 1914-08-30 Sydney Wooderson, English athlete dubbed "The Mighty Atom" (world record 1937), born in Camberwell, London (d. 2006)
  • 1915-02-21 Godfrey Brown, British athlete, 4 X 400m runner (Olympic gold 1936), born in Bankura, India (d. 1995)
  • 1915-03-08 Tapio Rautavaara, Finnish athlete, actor, and singer (Me tulemme taas, Rion yö), born in Pirkkala, Finland (d. 1979)
  • 1915-07-05 John Woodruff, American athlete (Olympic gold 1936), born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania (d. 2007)
  • 1916-05-20 Trebisonda Valla, Italian athlete (d. 2006)
  • 1917-07-17 Lou Bourdeau, baseball player and manager (1948 AP Athlete of Year)
  • 1918-02-03 Helen Stephens, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m & 4x100m relay 1936), born in Fulton, Missouri (d. 1994)
  • 1918-02-25 Barney Ewell, American athlete (d. 1996)
  • 1918-04-26 Francina "Fanny" Blankers-Koen, Dutch athlete (Olympic gold 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles, 4x100m relay 1948), born in Lage Vuursche, Netherlands (d. 2004)
  • 1918-11-05 George Sheehan, American doctor, athlete and author ("Running & Being: The Total Experience," NY Times best seller), born in Brooklyn, NY (d. 1993)

Weddings in Sport

Jim Thorpe

1913-10-14 Athlete Jim Thorpe (25) weds Margaret Iva Miller at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

  • 1945-06-02 Athlete Jim Thorpe (57) weds Patricia Askew
  • 2006-03-31 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Jana Pittman (23) weds track and field athlete Chris Rawlinson (33) at Morning Star Estate on Mornington Peninsula in Australia

Marion Jones

2007-02-24 Former world champion track and field athlete Marion Jones (31) weds Olympic bronze medalist Obadele Thompson (30) at the Union Hill African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilson's Mills, North Carolina

  • 2016-05-01 Paralympic athlete Aimee Mullins (39) weds "Homeland" star Rupert Friend (34) in a magical hobbit-y compost shed

Divorces in Sport

Kris Jenner

2015-03-23 TV personality Kris Jenner and athlete Bruce Jenner divorce after 13 years of marriage

Deaths in Sport

  • 1905-10-29 Etienne Desmarteau, Canadian athlete (b. 1873)
  • 1908-01-06 George Dixon, Canadian boxer (World Bantamweight title 1892; World Featherweight champion 1891-97, 98-1901; first black athlete to win a World C'ship in any sport), dies of liver failure at 37
  • 1913-02-10 Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, Greek athlete (Olympic gold standing long jump, bronze high jump 1912, 2 x silver 1908), dies from meningitis at 24
  • 1915-03-31 Wyndham Halswelle, Scottish athlete (Olympic gold 1908), dies at 32
  • 1923-04-02 Michel Théato, Luxembourgian athlete (Olympic gold representing France, marathon 1900), dies at 45
  • 1924-04-01 Stan Rowley, Australian athlete (Olympic gold 5,000m team, bronze 60m, 100m, 200m 1900), dies at 47

Jaap Eden

1925-02-02 Jaap Eden, Dutch athlete (World Cycling C'ship gold 10k 1894, sprint 1895; World Speed Skating C'ship gold allround 1893, 95, 96), dies at 51

  • 1927-12-18 Harry Barrett, British athlete (WR marathon 2:42:31 1909), dies at 47
  • 1928-01-06 Alvin Kraenzlein, American track and field athlete (4 Olympic gold 1900), dies at 51
  • 1929-02-14 Tom Burke, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m, 400m 1896), dies at 53
  • 1931-08-02 Kinue Hitomi, Japanese athlete (World record women's 100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump; Olympic silver 800m 1928), dies from pneumonia at 24
  • 1933-06-02 Frank Jarvis, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1900), dies at 54
  • 1934-03-12 Harry Green, English athlete (WR marathon 2:38:16.2 1913), dies from pneumonia at 37

Teddy Flack

1935-01-10 Edwin Flack, Australian athlete, (Olympic gold 800m, 1500m 1896), dies at 61

  • 1937-09-29 Ray Ewry, American track and field athlete (8 Olympic golds 1900, 04, 08), dies at 63
  • 1940-02-11 Gunnar Höckert, Finnish athlete (Olympic gold 5,000m 1936), dies of war wounds at 29
  • 1942-01-15 Mel Sheppard, American athlete (Olympic gold 800m, 1,500m, medley relay 1908; 4x400 metre relay 1912), dies at 58
  • 1942-12-20 Dan Ahearn, Irish-American athlete (men's triple jump WR 15.52m 1911-24), dies at 54
  • 1943-02-01 Foy Draper, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m relay 1936 WR 39.8s), dies in action as a USAF pilot at 31
  • 1944-04-26 Violette Morris, French athlete & spy for Nazi Germany, dies at 51
  • 1945-08-09 Harry Hillman, American athlete (3 Gold Olympic 1904), dies at 63
  • 1946-01-09 Dimitrios Golemis, Greek athlete (b. 1874)
  • 1946-08-18 Georg Åberg, Swedish athlete (Olympic silver triple jump; bronze long jump 1912), dies at 53
  • 1948-02-02 Bevil Rudd, South African athlete (Olympic gold 400m 1920), dies at 53
  • 1949-01-09 Tom Longboat, Canadian athlete (Boston Marathon 1907 record time 2:24:24), dies at 61
  • 1949-03-10 James Rector, American athlete (b. 1884)
  • 1949-12-28 Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 1,500m 1936), dies in rail accident at 39
  • 1951-11-05 Reggie Walker, South African athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1908), dies at 62
  • 1952-01-28 Thomas Hicks, English athlete (Olympic gold marathon 1904), dies at 76
  • 1952-07-21 Silvio Cator, Haitian athlete and long jumper (Olympic silver 1928), dies at 51
  • 1953-03-02 Jim Lightbody, American athlete (Olympic gold 800m, 1500m, 2590m Steeplechase 1904), dies at 70

Jim Thorpe

1953-03-28 Jim Thorpe, American all-round athlete (Olympic gold decathlon, pentathlon 1912; College & Pro Football Hall of Fame), dies of heart failure at 65

  • 1953-12-02 Reginald "Snowy" Baker, Australian boxer (Olympic silver middleweight 1908), rugby union halfback (2 caps) and actor (The Sword of Valor), dies at 69
  • 1954-05-26 Lionel Conacher "The Big Train", Canadian athlete and politician, dies from a heart attack at 54
  • 1956-06-29 Max Emmerich, American athlete and gymnast (Olympic gold, triathlon 1904), dies at 77

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

1956-09-27 Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American all-round athlete (10 LPGA majors, Olympic gold medals 80m hurdles, javelin 1932), dies of colon cancer at 45

  • 1957-11-02 Ted Meredith, American athlete (Olympic gold 800m in world record 1:51.9s 1912), dies at 64
  • 1957-11-09 Peter O'Connor, Irish athlete (1st recognised world long jump record 1901), dies at 85
  • 1958-01-08 Paul Pilgrim, American athlete (Olympic gold 1904, 06), dies at 74
  • 1958-06-26 George Orton, Canadian athlete (b. 1873)
  • 1959-03-04 Maxey Long, American athlete (b. 1878)
  • 1959-10-18 Boughera El Ouafi, Algerian athlete and marathoner (Olympic gold 1928), shot to death in a cafe at 61

Lottie Dod

1960-06-27 Lottie Dod, British all-round athlete (Wimbledon 1887-88, 1891-93), dies at 88

Alfred Carlton Gilbert

1961-01-24 Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American athlete, inventor, and businessman (invented the Erector Set), dies at 76

  • 1961-02-27 Platt Adams, American field athlete (Olympic gold standing high jump 1912), dies at 75
  • 1965-10-27 Frans Luitjes, Dutch track and field athlete, dies of lymph node inflammation at 21
  • 1966-01-14 Bill Carr, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m, 4 x 400m 1932), dies at 56
  • 1966-09-05 Dezső Lauber, Hungarian athlete (b. 1879)
  • 1968-04-25 John Tewksbury, American athlete (b. 1876)
  • 1969-01-01 Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (Olympic silver pole vault & bronze javelin 1906; bronze pole vault 1908; popularized bowling in Sweden), dies at 87
  • 1969-01-08 Albert Hill, British athlete (b. 1889)
  • 1969-06-23 Volmari Iso-Hollo, Finnish athlete (Olympic gold 3,000m steeplechase 1936), dies at 62
  • 1970-08-12 Glenn Hartranft, American athlete (discus WR 47.89m 1925; Olympic silver shot putt 1924), dies at 68
  • 1970-12-26 Lillian Board, British 400m athlete (Olympic silver 1968), dies at 22
  • 1971-09-05 Ed Gordon Jr, American athlete (Olympic gold long jump 1932), dies at 63
  • 1972-07-21 Ralph Craig, American athlete (Olympic gold 100/200m 1912), dies at 83

Abebe Bikila

1973-10-25 Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian Olympic marathon champion (Olympic gold, marathon 1960, 64) and Africa's first world record breaking athlete in any sport, who won the 1960 Olympics marathon barefoot, dies of a brain haemorrhage at 41

  • 1975-02-16 Morgan Taylor, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m hurdles 1924; bronze 1928, 32), dies at 71
  • 1975-03-06 Glen Hardin, American athlete (Olympic gold 1936 400m hurdles), dies at 64
  • 1975-10-21 Charles Reidpath, American athlete (Olympic gold 1912), dies at 86
  • 1976-06-23 Dehart Hubbard, American athlete (Olympic gold, long jump 1924; first African American to win individual event; WR 7.89m 1925), dies at 72
  • 1978-01-14 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold 100m, silver 4x100m 1924; depicted in film "Chariots of Fire"), dies at 78
  • 1978-10-10 Ralph Metcalfe, American athlete, politician (Rep-D-Ill; joint world record 100m, Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1936), dies of a heart attack at 68
  • 1979-01-22 Ali Hassan Salameh [Abu Hassan], killed by car bomb; believed to have helped mastermind massacre of 1972 Munich Olympics athletes
  • 1979-05-01 Taisto Mäki, Finnish athlete (WR 2 miles, 5,000m and 10,000m simultaneously 1939-42), dies at 68
  • 1979-09-25 Tapio Rautavaara, Finnish athlete, actor, and singer (Me tulemme taas, Rion yö), dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 64
  • 1980-01-01 Frank Wykoff, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1928, 32, 36), dies at 70

Jesse Owens

1980-03-31 Jesse Owens, American athlete (4 Olympic gold 1936), dies of lung cancer at 66

  • 1980-12-04 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-born American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1932), dies when shot during an armed robbery, at 69
  • 1981-03-19 Frank Lane, American MLB executive (GM Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, KC Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers), dies at 85
  • 1982-11-29 Percy Williams, Canadian athlete (Olympic gold 100m / 200m 1928), dies from self inflicted gunshot wounds at 74
  • 1983-01-17 Bill Bonthron, American athlete (world 1,500m record 3:48.8 1934), dies at 70
  • 1983-09-12 Sabin Carr, American athlete (Olympic gold pole vault 1928; WR 4.27m 1927), dies at 79
  • 1984-05-01 Jüri Lossmann, Estonian athlete (Olympic silver marathon 1920), dies at 93
  • 1984-12-26 Tebbs Lloyd Johnson, English race walker (Olympic bronze 50k 1952; oldest Olympic medal-winning athlete; 48 years and 115 days), dies at 84
  • 1985-06-15 Andy Stanfield, American athlete (b. 1927)
  • 1986-01-05 Ilmari Salminen, Finnish athlete (Olympic gold 10,000m 1936), dies at 83
  • 1986-10-26 Jackson Scholz, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m 1920, 200m 1924), dies at 89
  • 1988-07-08 Ray Barbuti, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m, 400m relay 1928), dies at 83
  • 1989-01-29 Halina Konopacka, Polish discus thrower (Olympic gold 1928), dies at 88
  • 1991-02-13 Ronald "Ron" Pickering, British athletics coach and BBC sports commentator, dies after a heart bypass operation at 60
  • 1991-04-09 Forrest Towns, American athlete (Olympic gold 110m hurdles 1936), dies at 77
  • 1992-05-06 Gaston Reiff, Belgian athlete (Olympic gold 1948), dies at 71
  • 1993-01-16 Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Icelandic strength athlete (b. 1960)
  • 1993-06-24 Archie Williams, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m 1936), dies of a heart attack at 78
  • 1993-09-10 Josef Odložil, Czech Athlete (1500m Olympic silver 1964), dies after a fight with his son at 54
  • 1993-11-01 George Sheehan, American doctor, athlete and author ("Running & Being: The Total Experience," NY Times best seller), dies of prostate cancer at 74
  • 1994-01-17 Helen Stephens, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m & 4x100m relay 1936), dies at 75
  • 1994-08-10 Marie Dollinger, German track and field athlete (dropped baton in 1936 Olympic sprint), dies at 83
  • 1994-08-29 Marea Hartman, English athletics administrator who integrated women's sports, dies at 74
  • 1994-10-01 Bud Houser, American field athlete (Olympic gold discus & shot put 1924, discus 1928), dies at 93
  • 1994-10-17 Ralph Hill, American athlete (Olympic silver 5,000m 1932; same time as winner Lauri Lehtinen), dies at 85
  • 1994-11-12 Wilma Rudolph, American athlete (3 Olympic gold 100/200/4x100m 1960), dies of brain cancer at 54
  • 1994-12-09 Alex Wilson, Canadian athlete (Olympic silver 800m, 2 x bronze 400m, 4x400m relay 1932), dies at 87
  • 1994-12-10 Alexander Wilson, Canadian athlete (b. 1905)
  • 1995-02-04 Godfrey Brown, British athlete, 4 X 400m runner (Olympic gold 1936), dies at 79
  • 1995-09-18 Oleg Tverdokhleb, Ukrainian athlete (b. 1969)
  • 1996-01-24 Sandor Iharos, Hungarian runner, dies at 65
  • 1996-04-04 (Henry) "Barney" Ewell, American track and field athlete (Olympics, 1948 - gold and 2 silver), dies at 78
  • 1997-06-20 John Akii-bua, Ugandan athlete (Olympic gold 400m hurdles 1972), dies at 49