Al Oerter
Team USATrack and Field

Al Oerter

Four-time Olympian (1956, 1960, 1964, 1968); four-time Olympic medalist (4 golds) Melbourne 1956, gold (discus) Rome 1960, gold (discus) Tokyo 1964, gold (discus) Mexico City 1968, gold (discus)

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    Athlete Bio

    Al Oerter


    New Hyde Park, NY


    Sewanhaka High School (Floral Park, N.Y.), West Islip High School (West Islip, N.Y.) University of Kansas

    Discovered his skill for discus when he idly threw it farther than any member of his high school track team... Refined his throwing technique by studying a flipbook of a discus thrower...Became the first athlete to win the gold medal in the same event at four consecutive Olympic Games...Made the longest throw of his career (227-11) at age 43...Co-founded the Art of the Olympians program to help fellow Olympians promote their artwork...Father to two daughters, Crystiana and Gabrielle.

    Al Oerter was the first athlete to win the same Olympic event four times in a row, and the first athlete to set four consecutive Olympic records. The Astoria, New York, native attended the University of Kansas, where he set an NCAA record for discus. He had been throwing for less than five years when he attended the Olympic Games Melbourne 1956 and set an Olympic record on his first throw in the finals. Oerter was seriously injured in an automobile accident in 1957 leading up to the 1960 Games, but recovered in time to win his second gold medal and set a second Olympic record. Oerter retired after his fourth Games to raise his two daughters and pursue a management career in 1969, but then began training again in 1976 at age 40. The Olympian logged his lifetime best results between the ages of 43 and 47. Oerter was not only an accomplished athlete, but was also a successful motivational speaker and abstract artist.
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