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 1st modern Summer Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece; American athlete James Connolly Olympic becomes first modern Olympic champion when he wins the triple jump (then 2 hops and a jump); later 3rd in the long jump, 2nd in the 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

OlympicsOlympic Games

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 1,500m

Olympic Runner Teddy Flack
Olympic Runner
Teddy Flack
  • 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

OlympicsOlympic 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

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • 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 a contract to play baseball with the New York Giants; unlike his other sporting endeavours the Olympic-medal winner's career in MLB was uninspiring
  • 1914-01-28 1st Millrose Games (athletics) held (NYC)
  • 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

Sports record brokenWorld Record

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

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Sports record brokenWorld Record

1935-05-25 Track and field 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".

Track and Field Athlete Jesse Owens
Track and Field Athlete
Jesse Owens
  • 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 (20.7), 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
  • 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 24.4 to become 1st women to claim 3 individual track & field gold at a Games, having already won 100m & 80m hurdles
  • 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

Sports record brokenWorld 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

Marathon Runner Abebe Bikila
Marathon Runner
Abebe Bikila
  • 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
  • 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"
  • 1968-10-15 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Sports record brokenWorld 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

Swimmer Mark Spitz
Swimmer
Mark Spitz
  • 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
  • 1973-10-20 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
  • 1983-08-07 Grete Waitz of Norway wins inaugural women's marathon at the 1st world athletics championships in Helsinki, Finland

OlympicsOlympic 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

Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper Carl Lewis
Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper
Carl Lewis
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Track and Field Athlete/Drug Cheat Marion Jones
Track and Field Athlete/Drug Cheat
Marion Jones
  • 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

Sports record brokenWorld 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

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt
Olympic Sprinter
Usain Bolt
  • 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

AgreementContract 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

NFL Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
NFL Quarterback
Patrick Mahomes

Birthdays in Sport

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 357

  • 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)
  • 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), 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)

Person of interestTeddy Flack

1873-11-05 Teddy Flack [Edwin], Australian athlete, double Olympic gold medallist in 1896, born in London, England (d. 1935)

Olympic Runner Teddy Flack
Olympic Runner
Teddy Flack
  • 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 100m Champion-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)
  • 1883-10-26 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)

Person of interestAlfred 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)
  • 1886-07-15 Harry Green, English athlete (WR marathon 2:38:16.2 1913), born in Islington, Greater London, England (d. 1934)

Person of interestJim 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)

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • 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 (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 1920), born in Kimberley, Northern Cape (d. 1948)
  • 1895-02-15 Earl Thomson, Canadian athlete (d. 1971)
  • 1896-02-01 Frank Lane, American MLB executive (GM Chicago WS, 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 & silver 1924), 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)
  • 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 athlete (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 (2 Olympic gold 1932), born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (d. 1966)
  • 1909-10-29 Frank Wykoff, 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)
  • 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)

Person of interestJesse Owens

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

Track and Field Athlete Jesse Owens
Track and Field Athlete
Jesse Owens
  • 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 track & field athlete (4 x Olympic gold 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)
  • 1918-12-01 Bill Strannigan, American all-round athlete and basketball coach (Uni of Wyoming), born in Dalry, North Ayrshire, Scotland (d. 1997)
  • 1919-06-10 Kevin O'Flanagan, Irish athlete and physician (d. 2006)
  • 1920-06-22 Marea Hartman, English athletics administrator who integrated women's sports, born in London (d. 1994)
  • 1921-02-24 Gaston Reiff, Belgian athlete (Olympic gold 1948), born in Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium (d. 1992)
  • 1921-06-03 Forbes Carlile, Australian athlete and influential swimming coach, born in Melbourne (d. 2016)

Weddings in Sport


LoveWedding of Interest

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

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • 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

LoveWedding of Interest

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

Track and Field Athlete/Drug Cheat Marion Jones
Track and Field Athlete/Drug Cheat
Marion Jones
  • 2016-05-01 Paralympic athlete Aimee Mullins (39) weds "Homeland" star Rupert Friend (34) in a magical hobbit-y compost shed

Divorces in Sport

  • 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
  • 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 100m Champion-1900), dies at 54
  • 1934-03-12 Harry Green, English athlete (WR marathon 2:38:16.2 1913), dies from pneumonia at 37

Person of interestTeddy Flack

1935-01-10 Teddy Flack [Edwin], Australian athlete, double Olympic gold medallist in 1896, dies at 61

Olympic Runner Teddy Flack
Olympic Runner
Teddy Flack
  • 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
  • 1942-12-20 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)
  • 1948-02-02 Bevil Rudd, South African athlete (Olympic gold 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

Person of interestJim 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

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

Person of interestAlfred Carlton Gilbert

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

  • 1965-10-27 French Luitjes, Dutch athlete, dies at 21
  • 1966-01-14 Bill Carr, American athlete (2 Olympic gold 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

Person of interestAbebe 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

Marathon Runner Abebe Bikila
Marathon Runner
Abebe Bikila
  • 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 & silver 1924), 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

Person of interestJesse Owens

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

Track and Field Athlete Jesse Owens
Track and Field Athlete
Jesse Owens
  • 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 WS, 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
  • 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, athlete, dies at 65
  • 1996-04-04 Barney Ewell, American athlete (b. 1918)
  • 1997-06-20 John Akii-bua, Ugandan athlete (Olympic gold 400m hurdles 1972), dies at 49
  • 1997-07-23 Chūhei Nambu, Japanese track and field athlete (Olympic gold 1932), dies at 93
  • 1997-09-07 Bill Strannigan, American all-round athlete and basketball coach (Uni of Wyoming), dies at 78
  • 1997-11-11 Rodney Milburn, American athlete (b. 1950)
  • 1998-08-17 Wladyslaw Komar, Polish track and field athlete (b. 1940)
  • 1998-08-17 Tadeusz Slusarski, Polish track and field athlete (b. 1950)