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Al Oerter

Olympic gold medal winner in track and field. Born: 1936. Died: 2007.

Al Oerter was born in New York. He attended KU and competed in throwing the discus. Al won the gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, while fellow Jayhawk, Bill Nieder, was winning the silver medal in the shot put. In 1960 the two won gold medals in their events. They both set Olympic records.

In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Al set another Olympic record and again won the gold medal. In both 1960 and 1964 he competed while injured. In the 1968 Mexico City Olympics he surprised everyone and won a fourth gold medal while setting yet another Olympic record. He became the first Olympian to win four consecutive gold medals.

Entry: Oerter, Al

Author: G. Joseph Pierron

Author information: Judge Pierron serves on the Kansas Court of Appeals and has an interest in Kansas history.

Date Created: November 2012

Date Modified: November 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.