Johnson, Rafer


Johnson, Rafer

▪ American athlete and executive
in full  Rafer Lewis Johnson  
born August 18, 1935, Hillsboro, Texas, U.S.
 
 American athlete, who won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

      Johnson competed in his first decathlon in 1954 as a sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and in 1955 he won the gold medal at the Pan American Games. Injuries forced him to settle for a silver medal in the 1956 Olympic decathlon in Melbourne, Australia, but he set a world record in 1958.

      At the 1960 Games the decathlon competition became a duel between Johnson and Taiwan's Yang Chuan-kwang, who was Johnson's friend and teammate at UCLA. After the first day, Johnson led Yang by 55 points, despite the fact that Yang had finished ahead of Johnson in four of the five competitions. On the second day, Johnson fell from the lead when he hit the first hurdle in the 110-metre hurdles and finished 0.7 sec behind Yang. The two traded positions in the standings again after the discus throw, and Johnson increased his lead with a career-best performance in the pole vault and a better throw than Yang in the javelin. Yet victory for Johnson was far from certain at the start of the final event, the 1,500 metres. He led by only 67 points, and Yang, favoured in this event, needed to beat Johnson by 10 sec to win the decathlon. Johnson ran a personal best of 4 min 49.7 sec and finished only 1.2 sec behind Yang. Johnson won the gold medal, and Yang took the silver medal—the first medal of any kind won by a Taiwanese athlete.

      Johnson received the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award as the outstanding amateur athlete of 1960. In 1984 he lit the torch signaling the opening of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Johnson, Rafer (Lewis) — (n. 18 ago. 1935, Hillsboro, Texas, EE.UU.). Decatleta estadounidense. Mientras estudiaba en la UCLA, ganó la medalla de oro del decatlón en los Juegos Panamericanos de 1955. En los Juegos Olímpicos de 1960 se convirtió en el primer deportista… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Johnson, Rafer (Lewis) — born Aug. 18, 1935, Hillsboro, Texas, U.S. U.S. decathlete. While a student at UCLA, he won the decathlon gold medal at the 1955 Pan American Games. At the 1960 Olympic Games he became the first African American athlete to carry the U.S. flag in… …   Universalium

  • Rafer Lewis Johnson — (* 18. August 1935 in Hillsboro, Texas) ist ein ehemaliger US amerikanischer Leichtathlet. Seine Spezialdisziplin war der Zehnkampf. Leben Johnsons Familie zog nach Kingsburg, Kalifornien, als er neun Jahre alt war. Er spielte zunächst in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rafer Alston — Fiche d’identité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Johnson — Johnson, Andrew Johnson, Eyvind Johnson, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Philip Johnson, Samuel * * * (as used in expressions) . Marguerite Johnson Bunche, Ralph (Johnson) Field, Stephen J(ohnson) Heade, Martin Johnson Johnson …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Johnson — /jon seuhn/; for 3 also Sw. /yoon sawn/, n. 1. Andrew, 1808 75, seventeenth president of the U.S. 1865 69. 2. Charles Spurgeon /sperr jeuhn/, 1893 1956, U.S. educator and sociologist. 3. Eyvind /ay vin/, 1900 76, Swedish writer: Nobel prize 1974 …   Universalium

  • Rafer Johnson — Rafer Lewis Johnson (born August 18, 1935) is a former American decathlete. BiographyJohnson was born in Hillsboro, Texas, but moved to Kingsburg, California at age 9. In high school, he played on the school s football, baseball and basketball… …   Wikipedia

  • Rafer Johnson — Informations Discipline(s) Décathlon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rafer Johnson — Rafer Lewis Johnson (* 18. August 1935 in Hillsboro, Texas) ist ein ehemaliger US amerikanischer Leichtathlet. Seine Spezialdisziplin war der Zehnkampf. Leben Johnsons Familie zog nach Kingsburg, Kalifornien, als er neun Jahre alt war. Er spielte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Johnson (Familienname) — Johnson ist ein Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Johnson ist eine patronymische Namensbildung, abgeleitet vom englischen Vornamen John (deutsch: Johannes). Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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