Team USATrack and Field
Olympian (1900); four-time Olympic medalist (4 golds) Paris 1900, gold (60-meter, 110 hurdles, 200 hurdles, long jump)
Alvin Kraenzlein earned four individual gold medals at the Olympic Games Paris 1900 and was the first athlete to win four gold medals at a single Games. Kraenzlein was born in Minneapolis to German immigrant parents. He attended the University of Wisconsin, where his athletic abilities were noticed by the University of Pennsylvania’s track coach, Mike Murphy. Murphy convinced Kraenzlein to run on the Penn track team, where Kraenzlein set nine records in intercollegiate and Olympic competition, and also developed a new technique of hurdling that has now become the standard. Kraenzlein competed at the Paris 1900 Games in the 60-meter dash, 110 hurdles, 200 hurdles and the long jump, winning gold medals in all four events, and retired from track and field after the Games. He became a track and field coach at the University of Michigan and served temporary coaching positions with both the German and Cuban track and field teams. Kraenzlein passed away on Jan. 6, 1928, in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, due to heart disease.