US Olympic icon Rafer Johnson, 1960 gold medalist in decathlon, dead at 86

Rafer Johnson, seen in 2017 at a Rams event, claimed the 1960 Olympic decathlon and also helped subdue the 1968 assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. He died in his home in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, according to his family friend Michael Roth. He won the 1956 National Decathlon Championship and the Melbourne Olympic Olympic silver medal that same year as Johnson, one of the world’s greatest athletes from 1955 until his 1960 Olympic triumph. His Olympic career included the US flag at the 1960 games and lighting the flashlight at the 1984 Games at the Los Angeles Games. In a fierce rivalry with his UCLA teammate C.K., Johnson recorded world records in the decathlon three times. Taiwan’s Jang and former Soviet Union’s Vasily Kuznetsov.


Olympic gold medallist Rafer Johnson, believed by many to be ‘World's Greatest Athlete’, dies at 86

The career of Rafer Johnson after the Decathlon

Rafer Johnson after winning the National Decathlon Championship in 1956, Johnson became the favorite of the Olympics in Melbourne but he pulled his stomach muscle and tightened his knee while practicing. He had been pressured to retreat from the long jump, but he had managed to blow out the decathlon. Johnson’s teammate Milt Campbell, an anonymous virtual, finished with 7,937 Gold points 350 ahead of Johnson, showed his success in his life. Johnson came second for the last time.

Between the Olympics of 1956 and 1960 Johnson, Yang and Kuznetzov had their way with records. In 1945, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist named Kuznetzov. He was known as a Soviet man of steel. He shattered Johnson’s world record in May 1958 with 8,016 points. Later that year, at the dual  US-Soviet meeting in Moscow, Johnson defeated Kuznetzov by 405 points to restore the world record to 8,302. Johnson won over with his intestinal success, facing a hostile crowd.

Johnson worked for the Peace Corps, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the March of Dimes, and the American Red Cross. They awarded him the UCLA Medal in 2016, the university’s highest award for extraordinary achievements. They named the track at the school after Johnson and his wife, Betsy.

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